Palm tree pruning is a yearly maintenance practice that helps to keep your palm healthy and your yard beautiful.

The cost to prune a palm tree varies from $95 to $550 depending on the size, location and number of palm trees.

A small Alexander palm tree will cost less than a large date palm to trim.

The size and location of the tree influence the cost to prune a palm tree. Most times, the type of palm does not matter.

The national average cost to prune a palm tree ranges from $95 for palm trees of 10-20 feet tall to $550 for trees within the height of 30 to 50 feet.

Labor costs range depending on the company you use, but in most cases they are quoted by the job and not the hour.

Plam Tree PrunningLowHigh
Average pruning cost based on height $200$500
Labour cost per hour$15$50

When to prune palm trees

One of the most frequent questions asked by palm tree owners and enthusiasts is the appropriate time to prune a palm tree.

Basically, you should be prepared to prune your palm tree when the branches, stems, or fronds of the tree are diseased or dried off. As for the appropriate time to do that, the weather condition also plays an important role in this decision.

The best time to prune a palm tree is in the Spring. The dead fronds may appear unattractive and unkempt but they can be very useful in other seasons.

In the Winter, they may protect the tree from the cold and shield the tree from the heat in Summer.

DIY steps to prune a palm tree

Pruning a palm tree is quite easy when you have the basic knowledge of hand tools. You will need to have a pruning saw, some garden knives, blades, etc.

Step 1: Wear a safety tool such as protective gloves, safety glasses, and overalls that cover your entire body.

Step 2: Remove all dead, unhealthy, and hanging fronds. Be extra careful to avoid pruning the healthy fronds as any mistake may cost you your palm tree.

Step 3: After pruning, you can gather the debris and toss away or use it to light a campfire.

However, if you are not very familiar with garden work or have little to no knowledge of any hand tools, you can hire a professional to prune your tree.

Make sure that the help you seek to hire has a very good understanding of the process of pruning palms so that your tree is in good hands.

It is also good that you hire a professional if your trees are well in their maturity state. Pruning them with basic hand tools can be dangerous at this stage and you may not have the license to operate a more sophisticated pruning tool.

Why should you prune your palm tree?

Many people believe that palm trees should not be pruned in order not to damage the tree. This is not true. Pruning is just as essential to palm trees just as it is to other trees.

However, one should be careful when pruning palm trees to avoid cutting off their vital parts. It is also advised that you only prune your palm plant when there are obvious reasons to do so.

Unlike other plants, palm trees can use the nutrients in dying fronds to develop a new one, so make sure the part you are about to prune has completely dried out.

Pests and disease prevention

Pruning your palm tree gives no room for pests such as rats, scorpions, and birds to inhabit it and cause damage. In most cases, pests can identify the diminishing parts of a tree and choose to live there. These pests slowly migrate to other parts of the tree, feeding on fonds, sharing its nutrients, and destroying the pH balance of the soil by digging around it.

Accident prevention

It is important to prune your palm tree as a preventive measure to avoid accidents in your home. If you have a large palm tree, the falling of any diseased or dead parts of the tree may cause severe damage.

While it is advised that you wait till the affected area is completely dried off, There are times when you need to go against that rule if any part of the palm tree is posing an obvious threat.

Hazard Prevention

You should also prune your palm tree if it has become a significant hazard to the environment. Due to how tall a palm tree grows, its fronds can spread out and block the aerial view. This can pose a risk to road users, handymen, and so on.

Consider pruning your palm tree if it is prone to causing such hazards to you and your neighbor.

Palm Tree Pruning Service near me

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What to avoid when pruning a palm tree

It’s important to avoid costly mistakes while pruning your palm tree, especially if you’re doing it yourself. Some of the mistakes to avoid during this process are:

Bad cuts

There are various types of bad cuts you may notice while pruning a tree. These cuts may leave your tree vulnerable to diseases or prevent it from rejuvenating around that area. It can also create a route for pests and diseases.

Examples of such bad cuts to avoid include:

Stub cuts: If you can hang something on the branch of the tree that has been pruned, you have just made a stub cut.

Flush cuts: When you remove the branch collar; the slightly enlarged area around the edge of a branch, you have made a flush cut. This cut prevents the tree from regenerating in that spot and defeats the main purpose of pruning.

Head cuts: This is the most common mistake a pruner makes. It is done by cutting off the end of a branch at a random point. Head cuts leave the tree open to pests, diseases, and the growth of a weaker and unequal branch in that spot.

Pruning larger branches

Another common mistake to avoid when pruning is cutting off larger branches. When you prune the large tree branches, it can create wounds too big and wide for the tree to naturally seal off.

Depending on the type of tree and the structure of branches and crown, it is better to take off a large-diameter branch by cutting it back to the trunk. This way the tree can easily seal the wound.


When pruning a palm tree, you should not remove too many of the fronds. Some professionals make the mistake of significantly pruning a palm tree every year and eventually, it becomes too weak and unhealthy.

Leave as many green fronds as you possibly can on the palm. They require more green fronds to produce a steady food supply and necessary nutrients so that the plant can grow.

Also, resist pruning your palm tree majorly for aesthetics, different species come in various shapes. You can pick the one that best suits your taste and allow it to grow in its natural state.

Author: Ben McInerney is a qualified arborist with over 15 years of industry experience. He uses his in-depth knowledge of the tree service industry to give readers to most accurate information on tree service costs and helps to educate them about the benefits of using a certified arborist for tree trimming and removal work.