Queen Palm Trimming


Queen palms do not usually grow that tall and are easily trimmed from a ladder.

I am still working on these posts on the palm trees that grow in our area. I have not yet covered the date palms, various miniature palms and the Queen Palms – the subject of this post.

First an apology for not adding much new material the last few weeks. The excuse is simply that we have been very busy doing routine work and there has not been much exciting news to talk about. Yesterday we did take out a huge Eucalyptus, a big pine and an Italian Cypress to make way for a home renovation/addition/replacement at a golf course community here in Wickenburg. I have a video of the Eucalyptus hitting the ground that I will try to get on here sometime in the future.

For now, I have some information to share about Queen Palms. I was asked by a Homeowners Association in Phoenix to quote trimming and “deep root fertilizing” some Queen Palms on their property. For the most part, trees don’t have “deep” roots so the term is a little strange. I corresponded with a professor at the University of Arizona about the situation and she agreed that “Since the active roots of the palms are quite shallow, you would be wasting fertilizer and perhaps not treating where needed at all.” This is the approach we took on the quote and have not heard back yet.

I find that there are some homeowners that desire to know more about their trees and how to take care of them. They will welcome new knowledge and quickly modify their practices to bring them in line with currently accepted practises. There are others who simply turn a deaf ear and continue to treat their trees with outdated and harmful methods even when confronted with better knowledge. I like to work for the first group of people!

Trimming of Queen Palms is not as critical as the fan palms that I’ve covered in previous posts. They do have seed stalks but don’t seem to make such a mess. We are almost a little too cold here in the winter for Queen Palms, so we usually see some cold damage after the winter is over. It is important to wait to trim the fronds until after all the cold weather is past. Taking off the damaged fronds too early could expose more fronds to damage if the temperatures dip again. After that, it is just an aesthetic decision as to when to trim.

The frond bases (skins) on Queen Palms is very thick and tough to cut. We usually use a chainsaw (VERY carefully) to remove them if the customer so desires. There is no harm to the tree if they are left on.

I have a couple photos of us trimming some Queen Palms back when Shannon still worked for me, so he will be making a guest appearance in this post. I understand he is getting along well with his Army training!

Shannon trimming a Queen Palm from the ladder.


We had cut the “skins” off these trees last year, so only needed to remove the fronds that were damaged by the cold along with a few seed stalks. These are pretty large Queen Palms for our area, in Phoenix I have seen much larger ones! This picture shows the feathery fronds that people like so well.