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California Fan Palms


Jaimela4

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I’m just SICK by the over pruning that was done on my California Fan Palm. I do not understand WHY anyone would butcher a palm tree like this. All healthy fronds were cut and it looks horrendous. I will never let this landscaper touch my trees again.
Will my beautiful tree recover?

See before and after pictures.

IMG_5805.jpeg

74071533246__1FD715CE-77E6-4AA5-B112-E19913C1DC05.jpeg

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Yeah that’s pretty bad. Actually, the before picture is borderline over pruned. Has this guy been doing this for a while? It looks like it had been growing freely for its early years and has experienced over pruning in the recent past. I would recommend not pruning for a very long time, give it some extra water and add some fertilizer recommended for palms. If you can grow it out before the fall, it should be ok.

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I prune my own for this reason,  Almost all landscapers are guilty of this, they don't know much about palms.  Your first pic was also over pruned, these palms generally carry 20+ leaves when healthy.   Water longer(5 hr with at least (3) 2 gallon per hour drippers. around the tree trunk at 2-3' distance.  Water longer with a drip system, and you will get more viable leaves.  I'm guessing a couple years to get back to where it was and possibly 3 years to fill out to a full crown if you water deeply with a drip system.  These grow like gangbusters in phoenix arizona.  Also water less frequently in winter.  WHen I lived in Gilbert I found landscapers had set my irrigation system to 10 mins for grass, nearly killed my trees.   Trees need hours of watering but at a slow rate overnight.  Maybe you could tell the landscapers they cant remove anything that is green.

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Formerly in Gilbert AZ, zone 9a/9b. Now in Palmetto, Florida Zone 9b/10a??

 

Tom Blank

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YES. Your tree will recover. Part of the problem is that you didn't communicate to the landscaper exactly what you wanted done. If your only instruction was "trim it", this is absolutely the industry standard trim for a Mexican or California fan palm in Arizona. 3 open fronds,plus a spear. It will keep the tree looking good,and last for one full year.

Your only other option is to have the landscaper come out every 2 or 3 months to remove only 3 fronds to maintain a full canopy. You will be charged the same price whether 3 fronds or a dozen are removed,so most people that hire the job out opt for the yearly type of trim.

In the first picture,the tree is already over trimmed,and should not have been touched. If you told a landscaper to trim it,he has to do something to earn his pay...🤷‍♂️ 

 

aztropic 

Mesa, Arizona 

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Mesa, Arizona

 

Temps between 29F and 115F each year

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I have our tall palms done in the fall just before the Santa Ana winds. Yes , they look over trimmed , but it is peace of mind when I’m sitting in my home hearing the howling 60-70mph winds . The gusts can easily reach hurricane force. The tall Washingtonia at the bottom of my hill grows back very fast , as do the large Syagrus. Harry

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I think many owners dont want to have to trim their palms every year because its expensive.  SO landscapers can solve your problem with over trimming, guaranteed to slow down growth and reduce pruning frequency.  When you have palms that need a big ladder or a bucket truck to trim them, it becomes the most expensive palm in the yard.  My neighbor just had (3) sabal palmettos with 20' trunk trimmed.  We got to talking and he noted he really likes my royal palms.  He said he hears the leaves fall whump!  Even if I could grow a nice filifera here, I would be afraid to trim it myself with those sharp thorns on the petioles.  But a grove of them is a grand sight  when grown in AZ,

Formerly in Gilbert AZ, zone 9a/9b. Now in Palmetto, Florida Zone 9b/10a??

 

Tom Blank

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@Jaimela4 If you wanted to keep a more natural trim cycle, you could let it grow a skirt then light it on fire every 10 years or so.

All jokes aside, it seems counterintuitive but there is generally nobody in the world that knows less about plants than an Arizona landscaper.  This is called a "hurricane cut" (because it looks like your palm got hit by a hurricane) and is totally normal among landscapers there.  If you don't like it (you shouldn't) you should invest in a pole chainsaw, or let the palm grow a skirt.

Have you ever seen those interesting blue palms that look kind of like yours, but produce very long flowers in the spring?  They are called Blue Hesper Palms in the trade.  Those grow at a rate about 1/3rd or less of the palm you have.  I used to see those hurricane cut all the time, which is a crime because it takes those palms 3-4 years to recover from a depraved hack job like that.  These idiots that do this kind of stuff care nothing for the health of the palm.

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Maybe it takes that long to “recover” (3-4 years) in Arizona but here in Southern California my palms are back in less than a year. It is somewhat necessary here , like I said , due to high winds and super dry conditions in late fall through winter. IMG_3785.thumb.jpeg.2697244d793e8602a86e718ccf169ea2.jpegThis was done about 8 months ago . I know it is a Robusta , not a Filifera. Harry

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Thank you everyone. Literally crying tears  as I read this thread. I bought this home because of the tree’s. I’ve had the home a little over a year. The same landscapers took care of the yard before me. He did not trim the California Palms last year only the Mexican Palms. So I didn’t think he would trim the California Palms this year. He sent me that picture while I was at work and I about died. I guess have to take some responsibility but I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

Can anyone recommend a good tree service outfit in the PHX area with trained arborist that can help me with my tree’s? 

When I expressed my disappointment, the landscaper said it would grow back in 3-4 MONTHS. Don’t worry!
From reading this I now know that isn’t accurate. Someone suggested 3-4 years??? I’m so upset. 
 

A very hard lesson learned here for me. Any other advice and help would be greatly appreciated. I will get the water and fertilizer right.

Thank you friends.

 

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19 minutes ago, Harry’s Palms said:

Maybe it takes that long to “recover” (3-4 years) in Arizona but here in Southern California my palms are back in less than a year. It is somewhat necessary here , like I said , due to high winds and super dry conditions in late fall through winter. IMG_3785.thumb.jpeg.2697244d793e8602a86e718ccf169ea2.jpegThis was done about 8 months ago . I know it is a Robusta , not a Filifera. Harry

robustas are much faster in growth of height and have smaller leaves.  I saw them hit 35' in 7 years from a 5 gallon.  But physiological growth isnt just height, its more biomass.  The filiufera is a much heavier palm with a thick trunk and heavy leaves.  The robusta grows a skinny trunk while extending to put on extra leaves, the filifera is a very thick trunk palm so it has to put on many pounds of trunk to put out a new crown.  A properly cared for FIlifera is pretty quick in a hot environment.  I had a friend that grew a 24" box to 25' overall in 7-8 years.  But that was ideal situation with deep watering and it was from a small palm.  This filifera appears to have had a rough time with so few leaves even before the trim.  But com,paring a robusta to a filifera I would estimate that for each foot of trunk the filifera puts on about 5-8x more bioimass than robusta in trunk  mass. 

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Formerly in Gilbert AZ, zone 9a/9b. Now in Palmetto, Florida Zone 9b/10a??

 

Tom Blank

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21 minutes ago, Jaimela4 said:

Thank you everyone. Literally crying tears  as I read this thread. I bought this home because of the tree’s. I’ve had the home a little over a year. The same landscapers took care of the yard before me. He did not trim the California Palms last year only the Mexican Palms. So I didn’t think he would trim the California Palms this year. He sent me that picture while I was at work and I about died. I guess have to take some responsibility but I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

Can anyone recommend a good tree service outfit in the PHX area with trained arborist that can help me with my tree’s? 

When I expressed my disappointment, the landscaper said it would grow back in 3-4 MONTHS. Don’t worry!
From reading this I now know that isn’t accurate. Someone suggested 3-4 years??? I’m so upset. 
 

A very hard lesson learned here for me. Any other advice and help would be greatly appreciated. I will get the water and fertilizer right.

Thank you friends.

 

Sent you a private message, check there.

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10 hours ago, Jaimela4 said:

I’m just SICK by the over pruning that was done on my California Fan Palm. I do not understand WHY anyone would butcher a palm tree like this. All healthy fronds were cut and it looks horrendous. I will never let this landscaper touch my trees again.
Will my beautiful tree recover?

See before and after pictures.

IMG_5805.jpeg

74071533246__1FD715CE-77E6-4AA5-B112-E19913C1DC05.jpeg

the palm first photo was already over trimmed, but the leaves looked good. the second photo burns my eyes. don’t let them even TOUCH that filifera EVER again. if you can, try and prune it yourself because i cant STAND the way it looks…that looks absolutely disgusting..

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7 hours ago, Johnny Palmseed said:

Yeah that’s pretty bad. Actually, the before picture is borderline over pruned. Has this guy been doing this for a while? It looks like it had been growing freely for its early years and has experienced over pruning in the recent past. I would recommend not pruning for a very long time, give it some extra water and add some fertilizer recommended for palms. If you can grow it out before the fall, it should be ok.

Agreed. It was over-pruned before the landscaper arrived. It appears to be "pencilling" as a result.

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So sorry to see this. I've railed against palm butchery for years and it still goes on. At this point follow the advice given. Don't even think about pruning this palm for at least a few years while it struggles to restore its health. Do you have any palm speciality nurseries that could steer you toward a competent trimmer when you are ready?

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Meg

Palms of Victory I shall wear

Cape Coral (It's Just Paradise)
Florida
Zone 10A on the Isabelle Canal
Elevation: 15 feet

I'd like to be under the sea in an octopus' garden in the shade.

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3 minutes ago, PalmatierMeg said:

So sorry to see this. I've railed against palm butchery for years and it still goes on. At this point follow the advice given. Don't even think about pruning this palm for at least a few years while it struggles to restore its health. Do you have any palm speciality nurseries that could steer you toward a competent trimmer when you are ready?

I sent one that I know from the area but to answer this question, Pacific Palms in North Phoenix is the only palm specialty nursery I'm aware of in the valley.  Treeland's owner is a palm head but they're not palm specialty and none of the staff would likely have any good insight.

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I just happened to read this thread while vacationing in Palm Springs, where I woke up this morning to the sound of a chainsaw across the street from where I’m staying. Shocking what they did to these trees.

I walked over to get the name of the arborist so I could write a bad Yelp review of their work, but they aren’t listed there. 

These arborists massacred these palms in about 2 hours. 

I feel your pain, but your palms will recover and you learned a good lesson. Never let an arborist or gardener trim anything without you standing there guiding them, unless you want your trees massacred or all your shrubbery shaped into balls.

I think it’s accurate to say that most “gardeners” and arborists are self trained and know nothing about horticulture. 

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Here is my California fan palm. It is at the perfect height now,and I do everything possible to limit it's growth. No additional water. No fertilizer. Remove half the fronds every year. In the next 3 weeks,I will remove all the flowers,and any fronds below horizontal. Good for another year! :greenthumb: 

 

aztropic 

Mesa,Arizona

IMG_20240624_133606966_HDR.jpg

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Mesa, Arizona

 

Temps between 29F and 115F each year

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Some more pics of how palms are maintained in commercial plantings in my area. Trimming is just done to be sure it lasts a year disregarding palm health, most of them survive, and the process repeats itself, year after year. 

 

aztropic 

Mesa,Arizona

IMG_20240624_134104902.jpg

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IMG_20240624_134554434.jpg

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IMG_20240624_134913204.jpg

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Mesa, Arizona

 

Temps between 29F and 115F each year

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15 hours ago, Jaimela4 said:

I’m just SICK by the over pruning that was done on my California Fan Palm. I do not understand WHY anyone would butcher a palm tree like this. All healthy fronds were cut and it looks horrendous. I will never let this landscaper touch my trees again.
Will my beautiful tree recover?

See before and after pictures.

Looks like he missed the last 3 or 4 fronds. 🤣 The "before" pic looks fine without the need for trimming.

 

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1 hour ago, aztropic said:

Some more pics of how palms are maintained in commercial plantings in my area. Trimming is just done to be sure it lasts a year disregarding palm health, most of them survive, and the process repeats itself, year after year. 

 

aztropic 

Mesa,Arizona

IMG_20240624_134104902.jpg

IMG_20240624_134659973.jpg

IMG_20240624_134554434.jpg

IMG_20240624_134350595.jpg

IMG_20240624_134926090.jpg

IMG_20240624_134913204.jpg

This terrible!!

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I saw one by me here in Brownsville the other day where they actually cut all the leaves except the spear off lol

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2 hours ago, aztropic said:

Some more pics of how palms are maintained in commercial plantings in my area. Trimming is just done to be sure it lasts a year disregarding palm health, most of them survive, and the process repeats itself, year after year. 

 

aztropic 

Mesa,Arizona

IMG_20240624_134104902.jpg

IMG_20240624_134659973.jpg

IMG_20240624_134554434.jpg

IMG_20240624_134350595.jpg

IMG_20240624_134926090.jpg

IMG_20240624_134913204.jpg

The robustas look like a wind farm after a tornado blew through 

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They might as well kill the palms and leave the poles since that's all they leave 🙄

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4 hours ago, aztropic said:

Some more pics of how palms are maintained in commercial plantings in my area. Trimming is just done to be sure it lasts a year disregarding palm health, most of them survive, and the process repeats itself, year after year. 

aztropic 

Mesa,Arizona

I thought those were a post-nuclear war images.

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Andrei W. Konradi, Burlingame, California.  Vicarious appreciator of palms in other people's gardens and in habitat

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W. robusta has always appeared wrong when grown over 50ft. The 100' trees look proportionately awkward. I do prefer W. filifera for that reason.

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My neighbors palm is visible from the back windows and yard of my house. To me, this is just right. 

IMG_0022.jpeg

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On 6/24/2024 at 8:29 AM, Jaimela4 said:

When I expressed my disappointment, the landscaper said it would grow back in 3-4 MONTHS. Don’t worry!
From reading this I now know that isn’t accurate. Someone suggested 3-4 years??? I’m so upset. 
 

Definitely doesn't take 3 or 4 years  for them to regrow their fronds though ..Unless someone lives in the Arctic, LOL..

Two on the right were cut at the usual time ..around now actually last year.  Two on the left were trimmed ..down to about 5 fronds.. in late December ( this past year ) Right before our little  " cold  "  spell in Jan.

Wouldn't be able to tell any difference in " trimming time " if i didn't live a few door down.

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All of these in view were trimmed not quite a year ago.  

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In other words, yours will be fine..  Just don't allow anyone over trim again next time.. :greenthumb:

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Don’t ever prune it again. Wait around 20 years and if you don’t like the skirt, then as someone else suggested burn it. It will love it. 

Millbrook, "Kinjarling" Noongar word meaning "Place of Rain", Rainbow Coast, Western Australia 35S. Warm temperate. Csb Koeppen Climate classification. Cool nights all year round.

 

 

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Even cacti around here are not immune to the overzealous trimming practices of some 'landscapers'.🤷‍♂️

 

aztropic 

Mesa,Arizona

IMG_20240628_130653546.jpg

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Mesa, Arizona

 

Temps between 29F and 115F each year

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2 hours ago, aztropic said:

Even cacti around here are not immune to the overzealous trimming practices of some 'landscapers'.🤷‍♂️

 

aztropic 

Mesa,Arizona

IMG_20240628_130653546.jpg

that's crazy, cacti aren't even close to actual trees and these "landscapers" trim them to look like palms! i mean just look at the third one on the left, how it that suppost to grow back? tisk tisk 😠

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On 6/24/2024 at 1:35 AM, Jaimela4 said:

I’m just SICK by the over pruning that was done on my California Fan Palm. I do not understand WHY anyone would butcher a palm tree like this. All healthy fronds were cut and it looks horrendous. I will never let this landscaper touch my trees again.
Will my beautiful tree recover?

See before and after pictures.

IMG_5805.jpeg

74071533246__1FD715CE-77E6-4AA5-B112-E19913C1DC05.jpeg

I'm guessing it's purely for aesthetics. 

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On 6/24/2024 at 1:35 AM, Jaimela4 said:

I’m just SICK by the over pruning that was done on my California Fan Palm. I do not understand WHY anyone would butcher a palm tree like this. All healthy fronds were cut and it looks horrendous. I will never let this landscaper touch my trees again.
Will my beautiful tree recover?

See before and after pictures.

IMG_5805.jpeg

74071533246__1FD715CE-77E6-4AA5-B112-E19913C1DC05.jpeg

That isn't optimal for the palm, but it should recover.

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On 6/24/2024 at 2:06 PM, aztropic said:

Here is my California fan palm. It is at the perfect height now,and I do everything possible to limit it's growth. No additional water. No fertilizer. Remove half the fronds every year. In the next 3 weeks,I will remove all the flowers,and any fronds below horizontal. Good for another year! :greenthumb: 

 

aztropic 

Mesa,Arizona

IMG_20240624_133606966_HDR.jpg

Here is my California fan,after it's annual trim.:greenthumb: 

 

aztropic 

Mesa, Arizona 

IMG_20240630_105114977_HDR.jpg

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Mesa, Arizona

 

Temps between 29F and 115F each year

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