Trimming a palm tree

The Best Way to Prune Palm Trees (Step-by-Step)

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of palm trees?

The scene probably includes a light breeze, warm sand and turquoise water washing ashore. That is why we love the slice of paradise palm trees bring to our landscape.

Because palm trees exude such bliss, it’s our job to give them the best care possible. Proper palm tree trimming is key to keeping these treasures healthy and thriving.

Scroll on to learn how to prune palm trees – step-by-step.

Step 1: Inspect the Tree

Old or dead palm tree leaves—called fronds—should be at the top of your pruning list. They’re yellow or brown on the outside and may be harboring pests underneath.

Also, check stems for flowers or fruit. Both can slow tree growth by providing food or shelter for pests.

Step 2: Plan the Prune

Before you begin, remember this key palm tree trimming tip.

Prune only to remove old fronds, flowers, fruit, or hazardous limbs.

Trimming beyond that creates a thin and narrow “hurricane cut” that’s not good for the health or look of your tree. Palm trees need a full, circular canopy of healthy, green fronds to continue to grow and defend against pests.

Step 3: The Precise Prune

Depending on the size of your palm tree, pruning shears or a saw will do the job. If you need to trim tall palm trees, call in a certified arborist. Attempting to climb a ladder, while wielding pruning tools, puts you in danger.

If you’re trimming a small palm tree, carefully prune fronds, flowers and fruit leaving at least 2 inches of greenery on the trunk.

Working your way down, gently pull off loose blades—called petioles—from the trunk. If the petiole is hard to remove, leave it be.

Extreme pruning puts Fla. palm trees in peril

  • Many people believe overpruning will keep palm tree fronds from blowing astray in storms
  • Experts say overpruning can shorten the tree%27s lifespan and sometimes lead to worse hazards
  • Some residents and companies prune trees too close to save money and for safety reasons

MELBOURNE, Fla. — Palm trees endure periodic hatchet jobs around Florida, making them liable to snap when days get stormy.

They resemble upside-down feather dusters, with tufts of meager fronds jutting up.

Others look worse, nearly frondless, like pineapples propped on sticks.

The reason for this overpruning, the so-called “hurricane haircuts” is simple: People think it makes for a cleaner, greener tree that needs trimming less often. And many, incorrectly, believe these extreme makeovers will keep fronds from blowing astray in storms.

But professional arborists say that’s not so, and that overzealous pruning puts palms on a path to destruction.

“For some reason, it caught on,” said Avalon Standstall, an arborist in Melbourne. “People started doing that without researching it.”

He points to about 100 palms recently pruned in front of the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts at Eastern Florida State College in Melbourne as an example of overtrimming.

“They could lose a lot of them by just falling over,” Standstall said.

The King Center’s trees were pruned to reduce the necessity for repeat trimming, to save money and for safety reasons, said John Glisch, a spokeman for the college.

“It reduces the possibility that branches could break off in winds and hit a student or a vehicle,” Glisch said.

“No tree has ever been damaged or killed in pruning this way,” he added.

But University of Florida experts say overpruning can shorten the tree’s lifespan and sometimes lead to worse hazards.

The King Center’s palms aren’t alone. Problematic pruning runs rampant throughout Brevard County and elsewhere in Florida, with curbside mounds including both yellow and green trimmings, most prominently in the months leading up to hurricane season.

Healthy palms should resemble a big globe, arborists say. Even yellowing fronds that dangle down help provide palms with food.

“The only thing that’s going to come off in wind is the dead leaves, they’re very lightweight,” said Tim Broschat, a professor of environmental horticulture at University of Florida in Gainesville.

But palms weakened by repeat overprunning can lose their entire top crown during storms, he said. “It’ll snap off and kill the tree, and when it comes down it will cause greater damage,” Broschat said.

Palms that have crownshafts — a region of smooth, usually green, tightly clasping leaf bases at the top of the trunk — rarely need pruning, as long as they’re adequately fertilized.

Part of the problem is that most Florida palms suffer potassium or magnesium deficiencies, studies show, because fill soil used in developments lacks those two elements.Yellow or discolored fronds are the main symptom of the deficiency, but hacking those or anything other than the deadest of fronds removes a reservoir of nutrients the tree needs to sustain itself.

As a survival tactic, palms cannibalize older leaves.

Removing only brown fronds and flower stocks is fine, horticulturalists say. But cutting off the yellow fronds exposes the tree’s “bud” to the cold, raising the potential of death in the winter and the same fate from tropical winds in the summer.

“If they keep doing it, it could set them up to lose their cold-hardiness,” said Sally Scalera, a horticulture agent at the Brevard County Extension. “The best thing for them is to never remove anything but brown fronds.”

In the city of Melbourne, businesses need a permit to trim more than 20 percent of a tree canopy. Residential property is exempt and owners can trim and remove trees without city approval.

But in unincorporated Brevard County, violators can face code enforcement fines if their trimming permanently disfigures a tree or renders it a public hazard.

Still, excess pruning persists — for practical but faulty reasons. Neighbors exert peer pressure on others to pretty-up their palms. Businesses worry about fronds dropping onto customers’ cars. And untrained landscapers do what clients ask them.

“They want to see a cleaner look, now you’re opening it up to insects and disease,” Standstall said.

Palm trees are not toy poodles, so don’t prune them to look cute

Every day when I drive home I pass a home whose owners recently planted some very expensive Canary Island date palms in the front yard. These four palms are beautiful matching specimens that certainly cost thousands of dollars each when they were installed. A few weeks ago I was shocked to see that the palms had been “pineappled,” meaning all the lower fronds had been trimmed off so the remaining fronds resembled the top of a pineapple.

Many people believe this common practice makes the palms look more attractive. Property management companies regularly trim off all the lower fronds for a “hurricane cut” that supposedly keeps the palm from blowing over in a storm. Let me tell you what you are really doing to your expensive investment when you prune palms in this manner.

In South Florida, there are many diseases and insects that attack palms. Did you know that some of the fungal diseases fatal to palms have been proven to be transmitted by pruning tools? These tools include chain saws, hand saws, and hand clippers. Landscapers and arborists need to sterilize their tools every time they finish trimming an individual palm before they move onto the next. Since chain saws are nearly impossible to sterilize, hand saws or clippers should be the only tools used to cut off palm fronds.

Do you know what else happens when you cut off a green palm frond or cause any other type of wound to the trunk? You may attract one of several species of palm weevils to lay their eggs. These are large weevils up to two or three inches long, usually all black and displaying long “snouts.” Some species have attractive red marks or patterns on their hard exoskeletons. These large insects are attracted to stressed palms, which include newly planted palms and those which have been recently pruned. When palm weevils arrive at an appropriate site, they can lay several hundred eggs in a month. When these eggs hatch, the larvae, which can grow as large as your thumb, eat themselves into and throughout the heart and trunk of the palm. It only takes about 20 larvae to kill a large Canary Island date palm.

Another result of extreme pruning: loss of important nutrients. When trees and palms have leaves that are beginning to die, certain nutrients are put into a soluble form and pulled out of the older foliage and usually sent to new growth. Palms mobilize potassium, one of the important plant macronutrients, and perhaps other nutrients from the older leaves. If the older leaves or fronds are continuously cut off, the new growth will eventually show nutrient deficiencies and palm health will be affected. Extreme pruning done on a regular basis has been shown to be fatal to certain species of palm owing to nutrient deficiencies. Palm fronds should not be removed if they still have green on the leaflets or midrib. They are still manufacturing and supplying food to the palm.

A typical indication of regular removal of green fronds is “penciling.” This is the section of trunk directly underneath the head of the palm (where all the existing fronds are connected) that keeps getting skinnier and skinnier. Eventually these “penciled” trunks snap off from the weight above, and the palm is killed.

I often see palmetto palms in large developments with this manmade damage. When the heads of these palms snap off in a hurricane, I hope the property owners contact their landscape maintenance companies for an explanation regarding the “hurricane pruning” that had been done previously to these palms.

After a freeze or severe cold damages and burns palm fronds, I have learned that if I cut off too many of the damaged fronds, the new leaves that come out may break off in windy conditions. The new leaves are soft. The lower, older and stiffer fronds not only help support the newest fronds until they become mature and stronger, but there has also been a loss of nutrients to the newest growth, making the new fronds more susceptible to wind damage.

If a palm has a crown shaft like a royal palm, with the green part underneath the frond that clasps and surrounds the upper part of the trunk, then the palm is self-cleaning. The fronds should be allowed to drop off on their own and not be cut off. Palms that are not self-cleaning, like Canary Island date palms and palmetto palms, have no crown shaft, meaning dying and dead fronds will hang on the palm for a long time. It is best to cut off the fronds once they turn completely yellow or brown.

One exception to the rule of not pruning the green parts of a palm is the removal of palm fruit. Coconuts and other large palm fruit can be hazardous and should be removed, especially before an expected hurricane.

Jeff Shimonski is an ISA-certified municipal arborist, director of horticulture at Jungle Island, and principal of Tropical Designs of Florida. Contact him at HYPERLINK “mailto: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ” This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Palm Tree Care Guide

Palm trees are perfect for adding a tropical touch to your garden. But to keep your palms looking their best, make sure you know exactly what they need. There’s not a one-size-fits-all answer — it all depends on the type of palm you grow. First, determine where you plan on placing your palm. Then, use this guide to help determine what palm will thrive in that spot. The better you can make your plot, the happier your palm will be.

Palm Tree Light Requirements

Palms can be picky when it comes to light. Knowing your palm’s preferences is key. If a type of palm tree prefers sun, planting it in the shade will result in a weak plant that has a thick trunk and stretched-out palm tree leaves from reaching toward the sun. And if your palm loves shade and you plant it in direct sunlight, its leaves will burn and brown until they die.

Temperature Requirements

Palms come from many different climate zones. Some species originate in places that are hot year-round. Highs hit 95 degrees F by day, while lows seldom dip below 78 degrees F at night. In mountainous regions, palms may see daytime highs in the 70s or 80s and nighttime lows in the 40s or 50s. Some species can occasionally see snow, while others brave temperatures exceeding 100 degrees F.

It simply comes down to knowing what your palm can tolerate — especially at night. Some tolerate a wide range of temperatures; others can’t. Taking into account the temperatures your area experiences year-round will help determine which species of palms will grow best for you.

Soil Requirements

The soil beneath your palm tree is just as important to its health as the sun above. And for palms, make sure you have the right soil type. Many species do well in either acid or alkaline ground; others are a bit fussy when it comes to soil. There is one piece of general advice for palms: Make sure the soil has good drainage.

Palm Tree Moisture Requirements

Moisture is key for any plant, including palms. Some palms prefer moisture once a week (palms from desert areas may need even less), while others may prefer five times a week. If mixing palms, make sure you group them by water habits; otherwise you could jeopardize one plant while another thrives.

Finding the right palm tree is only half the battle. Once you’ve found the palm that fits your location, it’s time to plant it. This is a crucial stage in your palm’s life, and knowing the correct preparations is key.

Planting Palm Trees

Once you’ve picked the right spot, the next step to ensure palm tree success is to plant it right. In colder areas, plant palms in spring, when threat of freezing temperatures has passed. Avoid planting palm trees during dry seasons; young palms are more susceptible to damage from weather changes. When you’re ready to plant your palm, dig a hole at least twice as wide as the diameter of the root ball, and make the hole no deeper than the root ball.

Be sure to exercise caution when handling your new palm tree, especially toward the heart. The heart is the delicate part from which the leaves grow, and if this cracks or shatters, your palm could have stunted growth or even die. Handle the root ball with care when removing it from the container. It may be easier to cut the container away from the palm to prevent root damage. Once the palm is out of the pot, level the hole so the bottom of its trunk is flush with the soil level of the yard. Then backfill it with loose soil to help promote root growth.

Bracing Your Palm Tree

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Bracing a palm typically works better than staking because palm trunks are often smooth, causing ties to slip down the trunk. Because a field-grown palm often has a smaller root ball than a container-grown plant, it’s more top heavy and susceptible to toppling over in heavy winds. To prevent this, brace your palm in place for a year or until it has reestablished sufficient roots to stay anchored.

To start, take three or four braces of 2×4 lumber and equally space them around the palm. Make them long enough and place their bottom ends far enough from the palm tree to allow support in strong winds. Fasten these braces to the palm by wrapping burlap around the trunk at the appropriate height to protect the trunk from scratches and scrapes. Then secure an equal number of small pieces of wood with metal bands or similar ties that will not allow the wood to slip up or down the palm during high winds. Securely nail the braces into the small pieces of wood. Never nail directly into the palm. At the bottom of each brace, insert a 2×4 stake into the ground to nail the brace into. Leave the braces in place for one year or until the palm has reestablished sufficient roots to stay anchored.

Caring for New Palm Trees

Give your palm two to four weeks to acclimate to your garden before you apply any fertilizer. Once it’s established, use a complete fertilizer that contains two parts nitrogen, one part phosphorus, and three parts potassium along with one part magnesium. Fertilize four times a year.

Additionally, water it frequently to help form more roots. Make a small dam on the soil surface around the outside of the root ball. Add water inside the dam to direct water into the root zone. If you’re replanting a field-grown palm, it’s going to need extra watering. This is because these trees have had their roots cut, and until they grow, they need all the help they can get reaching water.

Keep in mind that too much water may discourage roots from growing, delaying the palm’s progress. Watering three or four times a week is sufficient for most species — except moisture-loving palms, which will need more frequent watering. During unusually dry or hot weather, give new plantings extra water as well. Also, field-grown palms may require daily watering and, on hot days, watering in the morning and the evening. After three to four weeks, gradually cut back on watering to four or five times a week for another period of three to four weeks. Do this until your watering schedule is down to three or four times a week. If a palm’s lower leaves turn yellow and brown, this could be a sign that it’s thirsty for more water. However, be aware of drainage, because too much water can cause roots to rot.

If your soil drains well, use mulch to retain moisture and keep out weeds. As the mulch breaks down, it enriches the soil around the palm. Apply a 2- to 4-inch-deep layer with it thinner near the trunk and thicker over the root zone. This will help against excess mulch piling up, which can cause rot and fungal disease.

Be cautious with weed-control products. Some palm species are sensitive to herbicides. The palm can suffer damage if the herbicide comes in contact with green stems, foliage, or exposed roots. This could result in brown leaf spots, browning foliage, deformed new growth, and possibly death. Hand-pull weeds until the palm is more stable and grown.

Pruning Palm Trees

Pruning palm trees is simple: Remove dead fronds (leaves) and old fruit stems. Once the old fronds turn completely brown, it’s safe to prune them from the palm. Just make sure you wait until there is no green left on the frond. Use a hand pruner for smaller palms and a sharp pruning saw for larger leaf stems. Whichever pruning tool you choose, treat it with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide in between pruning different palms — this helps prevent the spread of disease from plant to plant.

When removing a leaf, cut it as close to the trunk as possible. The remaining leaf base eventually falls off, but it may take several years. And if you try to strip it off before it’s ready to fall off, you can scar the trunk.

If you have a large palm tree and can’t reach old leaves with a pole saw, decide how important it is to prune your palm tree. Eventually the palm will shed its old fronds, but if you don’t want to wait, you have a couple of options: hire a cherry picker or a tree climber.

Winter protection

Palm species vary greatly in their sensitivity to cold. Some palms can handle temperatures in the high teens for short periods, while others are damaged when temperatures hit 45 degrees F. Know the freezing patterns of your region, and make sure to buy a palm that can handle it.

Protecting your palm from cold damage can be simple. If you have a cold-sensitive palm, plant it in a warm microclimate, such as behind a windbreak or in a sheltered courtyard. This will protect it from the chill of winter winds. Or take potted palms indoors before freezing temperatures arrive. If the palm is too heavy to move, drape a lightweight blanket or sheet over your palm to trap heat inside and keep your plant 4 or 5 degrees warmer than the air.

If your area expects unusually cold temperatures, protect your palm with an outdoor propane heater. Keep the heater far enough from the palm to prevent burns. You may also water the soil around the palm prior to a cold snap; moist soil stays warm longer because water loses heat less rapidly than dry soil. Take care to keep water off the palm — when water freezes on the palm, it causes damage to the plant tissues below.

  • By Matt Smith

Pineapple Palm (Canary Island Date Palm)

Canary Island Date Palm

  • Certified Disease Free!
  • Low maintenance
  • Beautiful tropical shade tree

Canary Island Date Palms, Phoenix canariensis also known as Canary Island Palms and Pineapple Palms are an extremely durable and hardy palm that thrives from the coastal areas of Southern California to the hot Southwestern Deserts. Ours are certified disease free! Canary Island Palms are given the common name Pineapple Palm because of their unique crown. They are known for having a large base with an even larger pineapple shaped crown covered with large arching fronds that can reach 8-12′ long.

Canary Island Date Palms have a wide beautifully brown colored trunk accented by their pineapple cut crowns and their deep green, exotic looking fronds, that make this an extremely showy palm and focal point. These are gorgeous when lit up at night and work well by themselves or planted to line walkways, pools, sitting areas, and driveways. Their elegant look is prized not only by business, malls, developers but has quickly become a homeowner favorite.

The Canary Island Palm is a slower grower and once established they are hardy in both heat and cold all while being a very water-wise choice. You can have elegant, tropical and water-wise all in one design. All of our custom grown Canary Island Date Palms are grown only from our best specimens and are available in all sizes, from younger starts to fully grown mature specimens, Moon Valley Nurseries has the exact tree you need.

Pineapple Palm Tree Stock Photos and Images

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  • Young pineapple palm tree (Phoenix canariensis) on a sandy beach at Coronado Bay, California, USA
  • Pineapple palm tree in Albufeira, Portugal
  • Cafe chairs stacked under a pineapple palm tree in Spain
  • Pineapple Palm Trees on sea front at Torquay, Devon, English Riviera, UK
  • Summer and tropical drinks
  • Pineapple
  • Woman holding pineapple in front of a palm tree
  • Charleston, South Carolina, USA at the Waterfront Park Pineapple Fountain.
  • tropical pineapple watermelon palm tree vector illustration
  • The Bismarck Palm Tree and Gardens – Pineapple Tree – Luxembourg Palace
  • Macro Photo food tropical fruit pineapple. Texture background ripe juicy fruits of pineapple palm tree. Product Image Tropical Fruit Pineapples
  • Palm Tree like big pineapple in tropical garden
  • Non-edible palm tree fruit
  • pineapple tree palm abstract pattern texture background
  • Palm tree, Matagorda, Lanzarote
  • Tall Glass with Freshly Squeezed Tropical Fruit Juice with Straw Pineapple Coconut Mango on Large Green Palm Leaf. Top View. Flat Lay. Summer Vacation
  • Ripe pandanus fruit (resembling a pineapple) growing on pandanus palm tree in Sri Lanka
  • Pineapple water fountain in Waterfront Park in Charleston, SC. Pineapples are a symbol of hospitality in the American South. Copy space in sky if ne
  • concept image of tropical winter holidays with felt christmas tree palm leaf and pineapple illumination lights
  • Palm tree
  • Pineapple Palm trees in the village of Tous in Valencia Community Spain
  • blue silhouette poster of hello summer with landscape of palm trees with pineapple fruit and citrus drink bottle
  • Palm tree and blue skies in Spain
  • Zanzibar. farme climbs a coconut tree with his feet bound in a loop of rope. when he reapches the top, he uses hi matchete to cup a few pineapple
  • Pretty woman holding pineapple in front of a palm tree
  • Closeup of one young green palm tree resembling pineapple against the background of cloudless blue sky. Hot sunny day in fall. Concept of vacation and
  • tropical palm and pineapple over green background, vector illustration
  • The Bismarck Palm Tree and Garden’s- Pineapple Tree – Luxembourg Palace
  • Pineapple muffins on a palm leaf
  • Pheonix canariensis, Canary Island date palm, tree in Hyde Park, Perth WA Australia.
  • non-edible tropical fruit which grows from palm trees in Sri Lanka
  • Pineapple Palm or Canary Island Date Palm trees by a section of Venetian city wall in Nicosia, Cyprus – EDITORIAL USE ONLY
  • Two Fan palms, Mexican fan palm, Mexican washingtonia, Canary island date palm, pineapple palm, Portugal.
  • Summer and tropical drinks
  • Young woman holding two pineapples at palm tree
  • A caucasion blonde woman stands under a palm tree with a pineapple on her head.
  • Palm Tree On Field
  • tropical flamengo hibiscus pineapple watermelon bird of paradise leaves
  • Luxury accommodation in tropical destination. Fruit in bowl on wooden table against bungalow under coconut palm trees.
  • Pandanus utilis – palmtree with fruits
  • Whole Pineapple Tall Glass with Freshly Pressed Orange Citrus Juice on Spiky Palm Tree Leaf. Top View. Vacation Summer Relaxation Travel Superfoods Co
  • A pineapple set against a dark blue sky that contains palm trees
  • Noni tree, Morinda Citrifolia, with tropical vegetation and the Caribbean sea in background, Panama, Central America
  • Pretty dark hair woman holding pineapple in front of a palm tree
  • Close up of a Palm tree trunk
  • cocktail of pineapple in the beach vector illustration design
  • Detailed photo of palm fruit
  • Canary Island date palm or pineapple palm (Phoenix canariensis), Jardines de Alfabia, Serra de Alfàbia, Mallorca, Spain
  • Pheonix canariensis, Canary Island date palm, tree in Hyde Park, Perth WA Australia.
  • Tropical garden with coconut palms and a pineapple plantation. Shri Laka. Picturesque and gorgeous scene. Wide photo.
  • the Australian pandanus grows on a palm tree with green leaves
  • Canary island date palm, pineapple palm, from below, Spain.
  • tropical beach scenery theme cartoon
  • Palm Tree with fruit grown hydrologically in Florida,USA
  • A caucasion blonde woman stands under a palm tree with a pineapple on her head.
  • Fruit from a Date Palm tree in Florida.
  • tropical flower leaves fruit card
  • Creative art seamless endless repeating pattern texture with tropical elements
  • Pandanus utilis – palmtree with fruits
  • Two coconut mango ice cream sandwiches outdoors by a palm tree
  • Pineapple with slight flash zoom technique and slight motion blur set against a dark sky with Palm Trees.
  • Hot Tropical Outline Vector Pattern
  • Pretty woman holding pineapple in front of a palm tree
  • Close up of a Palm tree trunk
  • fresh pineapple on the beach vector illustration design
  • Detailed photo of palm fruit
  • Aerial view of pineapple fields and landscape with palm trees in Oahu Hawaii from a helicopter
  • Canary Island date palm, pineapple palm, Kanarische Dattelpalme, kanári datolyapálma, Phoenix canariensis
  • Thai workers in a pineapple field in the countryside south of Hua Hin, Thailand
  • the Australian pandanus grows on a palm tree with green leaves
  • Palm tree (Phoenix canariensis) full of Monk parakeet nests. Spain.
  • delicious and exotic pineapple fruits background
  • Palm Tree with fruit grown hydrologically in Florida,USA
  • A caucasion blonde woman stands under a palm tree with a pineapple on her head.
  • Close up of fruit from a Date Palm tree in Florida.
  • summer time tropical
  • Canary Islands Date Palm (Phoenix canariensis) and Canary Islands dragon tree / Drago (Dracaena draco), a slow growing tree-like monocotyledenous plant related to Asparagus, endemic to the Canaries and Cape Verde islands, Chamorga village, Anaga mountains, Tenerife, May.
  • Pandanus utilis – palmtree with fruits
  • Summer background with a blank note
  • Pineapple with flash zoom technique with a sense of motion blur in the frame set against a dark sunset with palm trees
  • Tropical Outline Vector Pattern
  • Pineapple and palm tree are the major crop grown in Johor, a state in Malaysia.
  • Close up of a Palm tree trunk
  • Icon set design, Summer vacation tropical relaxation outdoor nature tourism relax lifestyle and paradise theme Vector illustration
  • Pina Colada served in fresh pineapple perched on palm tree at Cabrera Beach in Cabrera, Dominican Republic.
  • Composition of Tall Glass with Freshly Squeezed Tropical Fruit Juice with Straw and Flower Whole Pineapple Grapefruit. Blue Background Palm Tree Leaf
  • Canary Island date palm, pineapple palm, Kanarische Dattelpalme, kanári datolyapálma, Phoenix canariensis
  • Pina coladas
  • the Australian pandanus grows on a palm tree with green leaves
  • Canary island date palm, pineapple palm, from below, with Hotel facade behind, Costa del sol, Spain.
  • exotic pineapple and lemon with open umbrella
  • Palm Tree with fruit grown hydrologically in Florida,USA
  • A caucasion blonde woman stands under a palm tree with a pineapple on her head.
  • Palm tree against a blue sky
  • Cute Pineapple and Coconuts Wearing Sunglasses Relaxing By The Ocean
  • Ushaka Marine World and Florida Road,Durban,KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Pandanus utilis – palmtree with fruits
  • Exotic cultivation on tropical plantation, Dominican Republic
  • Three red ripe screwpine fruits (Pandanus odorifer) hanging on a branch. Taken in Terengganu, Malaysia.

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Let’s Make a Pineapple Palm Tree Fruit Tray!

by Jessica on June 27, 2019 9 13

Today we’re making the cuuuuutest pineapple palm tree!

It will be your 4th of July party trick. Ready?

Two years ago for the 4th of July, one of our family members made this pineapple palm tree and we were all DYING over it. I put it on Instagram and you guys were dying over it too! And I have wanted to recreate it ever since!

I can barely hammer a nail into the wall and I had no plans to attempt to stack pineapples with stakes. Sure, I can chop a lot of fruit, but could I really stack pineapples? Who knows. It was time to find out.

The good news is that it is so much easier than it looks. We used garden stakes (from a hardware store, the skinny ones) and bamboo skewers (yes, like the ones you would use on the grill!) and these things stuck together just fine.

The key is to not stack them too high! Three pineapples is the perfect height. Two would be great as well. No need for four (and certainly not more!) unless you’re making an INSANE spread for a wedding or party of a few hundred people. You know? It will just look unbalanced.

You can stick any sort of palms or ferns (we got some at Costco) in the top to create the leaves. Whatever fruit you love all chopped up on the bottom.

It’s just such a cute and fun way to display fruit for a party! No, I wouldn’t do it spur of the moment or for a small Sunday night dinner party, but it would be fantastic for your 4th of July cookout.

Yes yes yes! I love it oh-so much.

The only downside is that you can’t really assemble it beforehand. Well, I should tell you that I didn’t try to assemble it before hand, because everything I found online told me not to do so. Since the pineapple is a softer fruit, if you try to assemble it the night before, it won’t hold up.

But luckily, it doesn’t take that long to put together, as intimidating as it may seem.

I suggest chopping the fruit ahead of time and storing it in the fridge. Then, once your pineapple tree is assembled, just add the fruit!


Promise it gets easier once you do it. You’ll love it!

Some notes on the pineapple palm tree:

*Don’t worry if the pineapple tree is a little crooked! Real palm trees are crooked! It gives them more character. Ha.

*Some suggest coring the pineapple. I did not core the pineapple, because I thought it would be easier for it to stay together. It worked great for me, but it’s tricky to move once it’s set up.

*Have all the fruit washed and chopped for the bottom of the tree before assembling the pineapple tree.

*Decide where you want the tree to go and place it in the spot. Build it there so you don’t have to move it. Easy!

*This actually is transportable! Like I said above, a family member brought it to a party a few years ago. You can transport it in a large box or my preference would be to assemble most of it at the party. Just take the chopped fruit in glass containers.

5 from 1 vote Leave a Review ” Yield: 12 people (or a crowd!) How to Make a Pineapple Palm Tree Fruit Tray Prep Time: 1 hr Total Time: 1 hr This is the cutest way to display fruit! A pineapple palm tree fruit tray will be the star of the show at your next summer BBQ or party! Ingredients

  • 3 whole pineapples (try to find 1 with a flat bottom that stands well!)
  • assorted chopped fruit of your choice
  • bamboo skewers
  • thin garden stakes
  • ferns/greenery for the top


  1. Note: you can core the pineapples if you wish. This will make them less heavy and slightly more sturdy. You just want to make sure there is enough pineapple left to stick the stakes and skewers in so they hold together.
  2. Slice the tops off the pineapples. Take the one that stands the best (ha!) and place it on a cutting board. Stick 3 to 4 bamboo skewers around the edges, then stick the next pineapple on top, pressing it into the bamboo skewers.
  3. Stick another 3 to 4 bamboo skewers (or more if necessary! It depends on the size/weight of your pineapplein the second pineapple. Stick the third pineapple on top, then stick another 3 to 4 bamboo skewers straight down through.
  4. Take 1 or 2 garden steaks and gently press them straight down, starting at the top pineapple, into the next two pineapples. This may take another stake – you just want to make sure the pineapple is somewhat sturdy.
  5. At this point, place your pineapple on a large plate, tray or dish where you will be serving the fruit.
  6. Take one of the pineapple tops and press a bamboo skewers into the bottom, then set that on top of the pineapple tree. From there, take your ferns and greenery and stick them into the top pineapple (right into the fruito create your leaves. There is no “right” way to do it!
  7. Assemble the cut fruit around the bottom of the tree. Again, no right way to do it – just display it around, as much or as little as you’d like! It’s sort of like assembling a cheeseboard.
  8. ENJOY!

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Pruning Palm Plants: Tips On Cutting Back A Palm Tree

Cutting back a palm tree will not make it grow faster. This myth has caused gardeners to do extensive palm tree pruning that doesn’t help and can hurt the tree. Pruning palm plants, like any plant pruning, must be undertaken carefully. If you want to know how and when to prune a palm tree to make it stronger and healthier, read on.

Trimming a Palm Tree

Some experts recommend avoiding all palm tree pruning, but most suggest you avoid cutting too much or too often. When should you think about pruning palm plants?

Think about cutting back a palm tree if you notice dead or dying fronds. Removing these fronds by pruning palm plants not only prevents breakage damage, it also eliminates nesting places for rats, scorpions and other pests.

Another good reason to start trimming a palm tree is when it has become a fire hazard or

visual hazard in your yard. If it blocks the views from your driveway or sidewalk, you’ll have to start palm tree pruning.

How and When to Prune a Palm Tree

Experts recommend that you wait until spring to prune your palm tree. Those dead fronds may be somewhat unattractive, but they will help protect the palm from summer’s heat and winter’s cold.

Sterilize and sharpen your pruning tools before you begin. Generally, you’ll need pruners, garden knives and pruning saws when you are trimming a palm tree. Wear safety glasses and protective gloves, as well as heavy pants and a shirt with long sleeves.

Remove any hanging, dead or unhealthy fronds. All dry, wilted or diseased fronds should be removed.

On the other hand, when you are pruning palm plants, don’t think you need to prune green, healthy fronds. There is no biological reason to do so and it can stress the tree. Be sure not to remove green fronds growing horizontally or pointing up.

What to Avoid When Cutting Back a Palm Tree

When cutting back a palm tree, don’t remove most of the fronds. Some gardeners make the mistake of doing this every year, and the tree becomes weak and unhealthy.

In fact, leave as many green fronds as you possibly can on the palm. Palms need many green fronds to produce a steady food supply so that the plant can grow. A palm tree cannot stay healthy and build reserves without a considerable number of green fronds.

And resist the urge to start pruning palm plants for cosmetic reasons. Pruning them into pineapple shapes or skinning their trunks weaken the trees.

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