Snug harbor




Improperly pruned Sabal palm- cut from 1-11 o'clock

An additional point on pruning is the removal of flower stalks and fruit

clusters. Falling flower and fruit debris can be messy as well as hazardous. In addition, several palm species produce large amounts of seedlings near the base of the plant. Removing flowers or fruit reduces the number of potential seedings.

Palms are wonderful additions to Florida landscapes, however they must be properly maintained to keep them looking their best.

Ed Duke is an Associate Professor of Ornamental Horticulture at Florida A&M University and a member of the Leon County/UF IFAS Extension Urban Forestry/Horticulture Advisory Committee. For more information on gardening visit the UF website at


Properly pruned sabal palm cut from 3-9 o'clock

Ed. Notes:

*Heavily pruned Sabal palms are mechanically unstable. In tropical storm winds they will bend unnaturally, sometimes to 900 because they are so topheavy. A properly trimmed palm will shimmy and twist, but will not be bent over.

**Pruning live fronds and leaving a “topknot” virtually ensures that no

self-respecting bird will ever nest, sing, or even alight for more than a few seconds on that tree. There is no protection from predators or from the wind in a palm that has been hacked.