The Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii) grows to about 10 feet tall. Its small size makes it easy to remove with equipment that most homeowners have on hand. The roots are easily cut and the spongy trunk makes cutting easy. The leaves have sharp spines at the base which require special attention.
Remove all leaves, fruit and flowers with long-handled pruning clippers. Start at the bottom of the canopy. Clip the leaves close to the trunk. Ensure that all the spines are removed with the leaves. Place the leaves in a landscape waste container.
Cut through the trunk of the palm tree at about knee-level with a pruning saw or machete. Place the trunk in a landscape waste container.
Remove the remaining stump together with the root ball. You will cut the roots and soil in a circle around the tree with the shovel blade. Each point on the circle should be about 12 inches from the trunk. Place the shovel 12 inches from the trunk. Tip the handle of the shovel toward you so that you are not digging straight down, but toward the tree. Apply pressure. Move the shovel blade to the right and dig again. Continue digging until you have completely circled the tree. Grasp the stump and rock it until it can be easily removed.