How to Prune a Majesty Palm

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Things You'll Need

  • Pruning loppers

  • Fine-toothed pruning saw

Tip

Use pruning loppers on young or small fronds; use a fine-toothed pruning saw on larger, more mature frond stems to ensure clean, precise cuts with no tearing of the surrounding plant tissues.

Warning

If you feel compelled to remove healthy fronds for whatever reason, never remove more fronds than were produced in that year. Fronds take many years to develop and the rate and number at which they are replaced is fixed; pruning more will not spur growth, as it does in some other tree species.

Majesty palms (Ravenea rivularis) have a slightly engorged base and symmetrical, feather-like fronds. They grow up to 40 feet tall. They are hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11. Limit pruning, since the trees are slow-growing and easily marred or killed by aggressive pruning. As a general rule, never remove green, healthy fronds from a palm.

Step 1

Prune your majesty palm in the spring or fall when the weather is mild and water is in ample supply so that the palm tree is not under drought stress.

Step 2

Cut away all dead, badly discolored or dying fronds down to a few inches out from the trunk. Do not pull the frond stem down or out to make a cut closer to the trunk -- this can damage the trunk tissues and invite disease.

Step 3

Remove any single fronds that look diseased or are harboring insect nests. Discard them removal and never compost them.

Step 4

Remove any flowers and fruit stalks. The formation of fruit and seed takes energy away from the palm, while fruit can attract rodents and birds.

references

D.C. Winston

A communications professional, D.C. Winston has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals and film/broadcast media. Winston studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.