In our coveted Florida landscape, there is no tree that more identifies with the “Sunshine State” then our beautiful palm trees. They are one of those trees that when you see one in a photo online, you know you are looking at a picture in Florida. Like many other trees, proper care must be taken to ensure the health of your palms. Here are 8 mistakes that people often make with their beloved palm trees:
1) Not watering enough
Sure, palm trees grow well in hotter climates but that does not mean they don’t need frequent watering. Brown leaves are a sure sign your palm tree is not getting the necessary moisture it needs. Palm trees like moist, but not water-saturated soil. So if you see brown leaves, you should probably consider a watering routine.
Almost as bad as not watering your palm tree is giving it too much water. When this happens you will notice brown or yellow leaves falling off the tree. If these leaves are not dry, then over-watering can be the culprit. A 30% to 50% sand/soil mix can help prevent palm tree over-watering.
3) Fertilizing when first planting a palm
When planting many species of trees it’s good to put fertilizer in the hole they are going in first. The opposite is true with palm trees because their roots are very sensitive to fertilizer. More often than not fertilizer will damage a palm tree’s roots and it can eventually lead to its demise. So don’t use fertilizer around your palm tree until after 4 months.
4) Not fertilizing your palm
After 4 months have passed from planting, fertilization of your palm is then encouraged. Think of it as giving your plant the vitamins it needs for healthy growth. Your palm trees need to be fertilized up to 5 times a year and it works best for them in the warmer months. A local tree care company can advise you on proper procedure unique to your situation.
5) Fertilizer Trunk Burn
Yes, after their initial growth spurt, palm trees like to be fertilized. What they don’t like is to have fertilizer put directly on their trunk because it burns the trunk. To avoid this, don’t fertilize within 24 inches of the trunk. Once watering takes place or it rains the fertilizer will work its way to where it needs to go.
6) Planting in bad soil
Palm trees get much of their nutrients from the soil they are planted in since it’s not recommended to fertilize them yet. Good soil will have the proper sand/soil mix, and adding some peat moss will improve the soil’s condition you are planting your palm into. Make sure you avoid buying soil at the garden center that has fertilizer already added to it. This is a quite common practice.
7) Improper pruning
Palm trees are sturdy but they are also one of the most difficult types of trees to prune without damaging them. That’s why it’s never a bad idea to let a professional arborist do this job for you. Your palm trees actually will feed some off of their dying leaves and pass those nutrients on to their newer fronds. If after pruning your palm tree, leaves stand up like a rooster trail you have over-pruned it.
8) Pruning for hurricane damage prevention
Of all of the things we have heard of landscaping companies promoting, this is one of the ones that bothers us the most. It’s true that by trimming and pruning some trees you can make them more hurricane proof, but that’s not the case with your palm trees. They need every branch on them to help them survive the rigors of a hurricane.
Call Aardvark Tree Service today if you need more expert advice on how to best care for your palm trees. There is no more knowledgeable tree service company in Volusia/Flagler than the pros at Aardvark Tree Service.
For help with your tree removal project, please give our team a call 24/7.