Everyone loves having a palm tree in their yard, and in South Carolina there's none better than the palmetto, but no one seems to know how to trim them when they become covered in overgrowth. Not only is this unsightly, but it could wind up doing some significant amounts of harm to your trees. Thick patches of dead or overgrown palm fronds can leave a huge impact on the overall health of your plants, either from blocking the main parts of the trees from collecting sunlight to becoming too heavy and uprooting itself, to even creating the perfect conditions for birds, rodents, and other animals to begin nesting.
Obviously, these are all things that no homeowner wants to see. So how do you begin keeping your trees looking clean shaven and free from harm? The obvious answer is to hire a professional company, but not everyone will be able to afford professional arborist services. Also, not everyone who owns their home lives in it year round, making it difficult to schedule a landscaper or other tree care team to help them.
Some palm tree species are easier to trim than others, most notably by how tall or short that they happen to be. Some taller palm trees simply are not worth the risk of putting yourself in danger; these trees should certainly be handled by a professional, especially as they require specialized safety harnesses and cutting tools to help reduce the risk of injury, or worse.
A good rule of thumb is if you have a ladder that can safely get you to the top (and that means without standing on the top where it says to not stand), give it the old college try if you feel comfortable. Again, trimming palms is dangerous work, and it is not worth harming yourself trying to trim it. The good news is that most palm tree trimming tools have a way to extend the handle or even the blade, allowing you to control it from further below.
Simply steady the saw teeth in position, and slowly saw away at the overgrowth like you would any other limb. Be careful not to stand directly underneath, as dead palm tree fronds are surprisingly heavy. Keep going around until you remove all the dead pieces first, and only remove living fronds if it is necessary to do so. Trimming live growth off of a plant is similar to stabbing it; you are actively damaging the plant, and each time you trim is another area that the tree has to now heal.
Other palms that are closer to the ground, such as a palmetto palm, may be just as tricky to trim. All palm fronds have prickly ends for defense, and most contain some form of pollen or another allergen to further protect them from becoming eaten. You will definitely want to wear thick landscaping gloves, preferably hide or leather. Nylon or other fabrics can work as well, but they will not be any match for the sharp ends.
Next, carefully use your pruning tool of choice, be it a palm tree cutting tool as mentioned before or a pair of shears. Carefully cut away at the dead growth first, and then ensure that the live fronds are even.
Trimming palms are fairly easy; the hardest part is keeping yourself safe. Considering that the tallest species of palm trees can reach almost 200 feet, it is always best to hire a professional when it is apparent that you will not be able to reach the top. Finally, ensure that your trees are going to pose a fire hazard and keep them away from power lines and other obstacles.
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In your search to find the perfect tree for your property, you may come across the Bradford pear. You may also already have one or two of these trees on your property. It seems like the ideal ornamental tree: it grows quickly, has a nice, symmetrical shape, and is adorned with breathtaking white blossoms every spring. But like many things in nature, the Bradford pear’s beauty is deceiving. In addition to emitting a horrendous odor while blossoming, this tree can actually be quite dangerous—to itself, to your property, and even to the environment.
Bradford pear trees became popular in the United States during the 1960s, when government scientists adapted them from Chinese Callery pears to create a non-breeding (fruitless), ornamental tree. For several years, these trees began to line residential streets and commercial properties all over the country. As time passed, however, it was discovered that this tree with only a 20-year lifespan rarely survived even that long. Due to their rapid growth, Bradford pears’ branches don’t take enough time to strengthen at their joints, creating weak crotches that are almost guaranteed to break apart under the right conditions.
Most Bradford pears meet their end due to wind, rain, snow, or ice, and they are known for taking windows, roofs, and cars out with them. Google “Bradford pear tree” and alongside the images of beautiful foliage, you will also see many photos of fallen limbs or even trees split entirely in half. Remember this storm damage article? That was a Bradford pear. If that’s not enough to convince you not to plant a Bradford pear, their impact on the environment might be.
The Bradford pear was developed to not breed, and it doesn’t—at least, not with other Bradford pears. But once they were planted all over the place, they began to cross-breed with other species of pear trees, and the result was a new breed of viciously thorny trees that sprout up among native trees and choke the life out of them. They are nearly impossible to remove and may destroy acres of agricultural and forest land. Their dangers have caused Bradford pears to be completely banned from some cities, and where they aren’t banned, they aren’t sold by honest, reputable nurseries. Fortunately, there are many safer options for beautiful, flowering trees to plant on your property, and a certified arborist can help you find and plant the perfect one.
If you already have a Bradford pear on your property, you would be doing our native environment a favor by calling a tree removal service such as Southeastern Tree Removal to help take it down.
If you’ve ever had a tree felled on your property, you may be left with a stump and a decision to make. Should you put in the effort or spend the money to have the stump removed? Couldn’t you just leave it where it is? If you ask us, we’ll nearly always say remove it—and with good reason! Here are a few of the many benefits of removing that stump:
Restore Curb Appeal You probably don’t need us to tell you that a tree stump can be a major eyesore. It’s missing the spreading branches and bright foliage that once made it beautiful, so all you’re left with is a bare, brown patch on your lawn. Removing the stump will return your property to a clean and well-maintained state.
Prevent Injury or Damage A tree stump in your yard can become a safety hazard when you or one of your loved ones trip over it. A stump can also pose a risk to your lawn equipment, as running over it with a lawn mower is sure to cause extensive damage to the blades. The safe and economical choice is to remove the stump before it can cause any damage or injury.
Protect Your Other Plants A forgotten stump on your lawn is sure to attract fungi, rot, and pests, including carpenter ants and other insects, all of which can spread to other areas of your property. If you want to protect your landscaping and house from these kinds of pests, then stump removal is the way to go.
Avoid More Difficult Removal You might think you can just leave the stump where it is and get around to removing it later, but the stump has other ideas. While it waits to be removed, its roots may continue to grow and dig deeper into the earth, and you may even see new growth in the form of shoots sprouting up around the base of the stump. These don’t just make an ugly tree stump even more of a blemish on your property; they also begin their own root systems that will make later stump removal much more difficult.
Southeastern Tree Removal doesn't only remove trees from your property. We can help you with your tree stump removal also. Call us today!
Why Hire an Arborist? Ever wondered why you should bother hiring a certified arborist instead of the guy with a chainsaw who knocks on your door and offers to trim your tree? Then did you wonder, what is an arborist, anyway? We have the answers!
What Is an Arborist? A certified arborist is more than just your average tree trimmer. They have years of training and experience in tree care, from proper planting and maintenance to removal of trees. In order to become certified, arborists must work in tree care for at least three years before passing a comprehensive exam, and to stay certified, they are required to continue their education in new tree care practices.
What Can an Arborist Offer You?
Passion – With all that is required to maintain their certification, you can be sure that your arborist truly cares about proper tree care. They have dedicated years to learning how to nurture a tree through all stages of its growth and development.
Knowledge and Experience – A certified arborist knows more than just how to trim a tree. There are many factors that contribute to a tree’s health; the depth at which it is planted, the type of soil it’s planted in, its location on your property, the way it is pruned . . . the list goes on and on. An arborist has studied many different species of trees and shrubs and knows what each one needs to be healthy and strong.
Value – As is true with so many things in life, you get what you pay for with tree care. Although it may seem cheaper up front to let that door-knocker trim your tree, it could cost you in the long run if your tree is not cared for properly. On the other hand, correct tree care can help to prevent expensive problems—like rot and disease in your tree or damage to property caused by falling limbs—which will save you money over time. Your tree, and your investment in it, are better off in the hands of a certified arborist.