Beware of DIY Palm Tree Trimming!

Giant palm leaves are more dangerous than they seem

Trim-Palm-Tree-PhoenixMany children (and some adults) love to play in the leaves. Raking up a large pile in the autumn months in many parts of the country is a common activity, and playing in those piles is almost as common. Some pranksters even go through elaborate plans to create a big pile, hide underneath it, and wait for an unsuspecting friend or family member to walk by for a split-second jump scare. But being under a pile of palm tree fronds is one of the last places you’d want to be stuck. Responsible for numerous deaths each year, many professional tree care workers fall victim to these giant leaves falling on top of them–meaning if you aren’t an expert, you’re best off leaving it to one.

Watch out for those spines! It’s not just the fronds on palm trees that are dangerous. Many palm trees in the Phoenix area also have sharp spines that can spike your hand or other parts of your body. Be careful not to touch them, as they can come off the tree and be like a giant, painful thorn!

Taller palms often equal greater risk

Some kinds of palm trees are more dangerous than others. There are even some with saw-like leaves! And while the ones with the obviously-harmful parts are types that most people don’t need to be warned to avoid, it can be the innocent-looking gentle giants that can be the most deadly of all. 

  • Some palm trees in Phoenix, such as the Mexican fan palm, can grow up to 100 feet tall!
  • Although the leaves may look light, giant palms can have leaves that are very heavy. A single frond on some types of palms can weigh over 50 lbs!
  • In comparison, a standard bowling ball weighs between 10 and 16 pounds. And you certainly wouldn’t want bowling ball dropping on you from a few stories high!
  • While most species of palms around the Phoenix region have much lighter fronds, unfortunately, it’s often a group and not a single one that falls at once, meaning they’re still dangerous.

Don’t take the risk to trim your own palm trees

While the taller trees with larger fronds are the most dangerous, that doesn’t mean that shorter trees are necessarily safe to trim on your own. Without proper safety precautions, there is the chance that trimming a few fronds can trigger a massive collapse where several neighboring leaves fall at once. This is the most common way that tree trimmers are injured, and often the professionals that are hurt on the job failed to take the proper steps. And these are people that do it for a living! Amateurs often don’t even know what these critical steps are, let alone are able to follow them. Because of this, it’s better to avoid taking the risk and let the experts take care of palm tree trimming for you. And if you go with a reputable local company, the job will get done fast while looking great!

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