Palm trees are one of the most decorative and unique trees that you'll find in the warmer, more tropical climates. When properly cared for, these trees can be beautiful and full of foliage. However, knowing how to care for them isn't always easy. That's probably why you're here. If it is, then you're in the right place. This site is dedicated to the care and maintenance of all sorts of trees, including tropical varieties like palm trees. The information on this page can help you to understand which of the basic care steps you can do yourself and which steps are best done by a local tree service.
How you care for your landscape trees in fall can prevent insect and disease issues come spring. The following tips will help ensure your trees survive winter in full health.
1. Trim Out Dead Wood
Dead branches shouldn't be left until spring pruning. Not only do these branches pose a danger of breaking during the long winter, but dead wood can also harbor insect pests and disease organisms during a tree's dormant period. When these organisms resume activity in spring they can quickly infest the rest of the tree. Although major pruning shouldn't take place in fall, it is perfectly safe and much preferred to prune out any obviously dead or badly damaged branches so that disease and breakage don't occur during winter dormancy.
2. Remove All Leaf Litter
A carpet of fall leaves may be the epitome of the fall landscape, but those brightly colored leaves harbor something ugly under their beauty. Insects, bacteria, and fungus can overwinter in piles of leaf litter. From there, they can then infest the tree during the spring thaw. Rake up leaves promptly as they fall. If you want to use fallen leaves as mulch, compost them first. Further, never use leaves for compost if they come from a tree that is known to suffer from disease issues.
3. Avoid Trunk Restrictions
It's not uncommon to use a tree trunk for an anchoring point during the summer and fall. Perhaps you used the tree to tie up your hammock or clothesline, or maybe you have seasonal decorations like ribbons tied around the trunk. After the flush of spring growth, a tree trunk grows very little so items tied around it don't cause damage. If you don't remove these items in the fall, though, they can cause constriction around the trunk when growth resumes at the end of winter. This constriction is called girdling, and it can kill a tree in severe cases. In minor cases, it still cuts into the bark and creates an opening for disease organisms to enter the trunk.
4. Protect Young Trunks
Young trees are more prone to bark damage that can kill them or provide access for insects and diseases. The thin bark on younger trees can heat up under the winter sun. The sap will then begin to run. As the sun moves and temperatures drop, the sap freezes and expands, which causes the bark to split open. There are special tree wraps available that you can place around young tree trunks in fall to protect against splitting. Just make sure to remove them before spring growth begins.
Contact a residential tree care service for more help.