All posts by ByronBay-TreeServices

Pruning Palms: Tips on Trimming a Palm Tree

When it comes to pruning palms and any other tree’s for that matter, it can be easy to get carried away and in doing so possibly cause more harm than good.

In this article, we explore myths like cutting tree branches to make them grow faster, what some of the setbacks for extensive pruning can be and when the best times are for pruning those palms back.

The humble Palm Tree otherwise known in botanical terms as an “Arecaceae” stemming from the same family which includes a variety of different types of palms like: perennial lianas, shrubs, trees and stemless plants.

These beautiful trees grow in abundance along the east coast of Australia, especially up in our lush fertile tropical Northern Rivers region. They can be a bit of a pain to maintain but are well worth being looked after.

“Since there are a few different varieties of palms around, some may drop their fronds (leaves) as soon as they die whilst others can hang on to them for a bit longer”.

Removing a dead or damaged frond from your palm can have multiple advantages including; improvement of the overall health of the tree, it prevents overgrowth and can make it look cleaner and tidier.

A dying palm frond will turn yellow before it finally dies.

A word of caution

Pruning your palms back, like any other plant must be undertaken carefully,  after-all we don’t just want a nice-looking palm, but a strong and healthy one as well. Some experts will advise against pruning all together, however the common sense approach is to keep pruning down to a minimum and to avoid cutting too much or too often.

When is the best time to prune a palm frond?

The most appropriate time to prune your palm is when you notice dead or dying fronds (leaves), this will help eliminate breakage and damage to the palm frond, you can tell a palm frond is dead or dying when it’s yellow or brown.

“A healthy palm frond has a green colour but starts turning yellow as it’s dying and then finally brown when it’s dead”.

By cutting away yellow dying fronds, you can help improve the overall health of your palm tree since it utilises less energy for growth on dying leaves and can focus more on the good palms.

What steps should I take?

  • Step 1: Grab any dead or hanging fronds with your hands, a dead frond will usually appear yellow or brown.
  • Step 2: Prune the dead stems by cutting one inch from the base of the stem (use sharp scissors or pruning shears).
  • Step 3: Maintain a weekly task of pruning the base of the tree by trimming away any new growth and by keeping a well-manicured palm tree.

What are some benefits of pruning palm fronds?

One of the biggest benefits to pruning back some fronds is maintaining good health for your palm tree, however some other side benefits include; to eliminate nesting places for pests like rats, wasp’s and other pests.

“There is also the element of danger where during high winds, a heavy palm can cause damage to personal property or even injure some one in the wrong place at the wrong time”.

Large Branches can fall and cause damage to personal property or even harm to loved ones.

Need help with pruning back your palms?

In some cases, you may feel unsure as to how much is best to prune back? Maybe you want to prune for other reasons but aren’t certain about the task of getting up high enough to get some of those dead hanging fronds?

Golden Cane Palm Removals

You may even want to remove the whole palm tree? Golden Cane Palm removals are a popular type of palm in the northern rivers and one of the most frequent types of palm we remove.

Whatever the situation is in your garden, we’ve got you covered!

Our experts at Byron Bay Tree Services have all the proper safety gear, are fully insured to handle any job quick and efficiently with the most care for the health and look of your palm tree. Get in touch with us today on: (02) 6684 4421 or 0402 364 852

Wings of Wonder! Epic Rescue of an Osprey

It’s not every day you get to help a friend move house, especially those of the winged kind..

We got the call early one morning a few weeks back that our local Osprey was in desperate need of a new home. The eagle mum had set up a nest delicately balanced on top of a light pole in the center of town in Brunswick Heads.

A simple storm could easily have blown this dubious burrow off and on to the road beneath.

Byron Bay Tree Services Delicately transfer the Osprey to a New Home

Byron Bay Tree Services undertook the delicate task to transfer the threatened “Osprey” species nest from the light pole over to a safer purpose built nesting platform 21m high.

The operation was a success but it didn’t go without a hitch, think Murphy law.. what could go wrong will go wrong.

The winds picked up, just in our window of opportunity which made the task all that more nail biting.. but we managed to get there in the end.

It was an epic effort for all involved, including our new Osprey friend who’s happy with her new home. Special thanks goes out to Dan, Troy and the BBTS team who did a fantastic job with a safe transfer in a difficult situation.

Fun Facts

Did you know that Ospreys (also called Sea Hawks) can reach more than 60 cm in length and 180 cm across its wings.

Image of an Osprey courtesy of © Kris Perlberg | Macaulay Library

They’re brown above and white below and tend to be whiter than most other raptors.

The head is white and has a broad brown stripe through the eyes. They also prefer to nest in locations close to a body of water, hence why you’ll see them near the beach.

We’re glad we got to help this extraordinary bird move to a new home. Just another day in the office for Byron Bay Tree Services.

Update 10 May 2019 

Want to know the latest story behind this new nesting?

Read on below:

As habitat for raptors shrinks on a daily basis, two local birds have found a nest to call home in Brunswick Heads.

A pair of Eastern Osprey has a new home thanks to some quick action by Byron Shire Council staff.

The osprey pair, who mate for life, built a nest on top of the sports fields lights (25m high) at Lofts Oval last spring.

Council’s Technical Officer, Open Space and Reserves, Andy Erskine said that osprey nests are built with sticks and they are quite heavy. ‘There was the potential for the nest to break the lights and the pole and the heat from the lights could cook the eggs,’ he said.

Eastern Osprey are large, water dependent birds of prey with a wingspan of up to 1.7m and are classified as vulnerable in NSW.

‘It’s a real treat to have these birds nest locally and because they return to the same nest every year we felt we could play a small role in the helping this pair expand their family and therefore contribute to the ongoing survival of this species,’ said Mr Erskine.

Checking out the new digs. The osprey pair gave a feather up to their man-made home. Photo David Charley.

‘Because Osprey only use their nests for several months a year, we decided the best option would be to build a nest platform close to the light pole before they returned to breed and we engaged a raptor expert to work with council on developing a plan to relocate the nest,’ he said.

A local engineering firm was commissioned to build a new platform and that was attached to a 21m pole and when this was in position council’s tree contractors (Byron Bay Tree Services) moved the nest.

‘They also attached deterrent devices on all the nearby lights so the osprey would have little choice but to use their new nest,’ said Mr Erskine.

‘The osprey returned recently and were spotted circling high in the sky but didn’t come near the nest and a new stick had been placed back on the light pole so we were getting very nervous.

‘Finally they discovered the new nest and have been seen sitting in it and rebuilding it in preparation to lay eggs and raise their young,’ he said.

A number of people have volunteered to be observers and report back on the activities of the osprey and council is looking forward to the happy arrival of some new feathered residents.

Update by The Echo