How should I take care of my palm trees and what am I doing that's killing them?
One of the best things about living in Southern California is being able to grow beautiful palm trees. If you've ever visited Hawaii or any other tropical vacation site, you've probably wanted to bring part of that lush greenery back home. While other tropical plants don't tend to grow so well in our area, palm trees do great! That is ... when they're taken care of.
Have you ever seen a palm tree with yellow fronds?
It doesn't look just right, does it? There are a few reasons why palm fronds start turning yellow. Sometimes, the soil is deficient in nutrients like nitrogen or sulfur, causing the fronds to look sick. Another cause is too much water. Most palm trees like lots of water, but if they're sitting in water all the time, they're basically drowning and turning "blue" because they can't get the oxygen they need.
To make sure you're irrigating correctly and/or to improve your current irrigation system, please reach out!
Another reason why some palm trees, like queen palms, is because of fungi that start eating at the root system, inner wood, etc. until they completely kill the palm tree.
Have you ever seen a palm tree trimmed like this?
It almost looks like Bert from Sesame Street. Some people think that pruning this aggressively is alright for palm trees, but this only stresses out the tree and can lead to the tree's death. Pruning like this also leads to a pencil-shaped trunk, causing the trunk to become more and more narrow, which takes away from the aesthetics of the palm tree.
Proper pruning involves only removing the fronds that are brown and hanging below a 90 degree angle. In other words, you should leave fronds hanging from 12-3, as envisioned on a clock. In some cases, it may be alright to prune up to 11-2, but anything more than that is definitely harmful for the palm tree.