Disclaimer: Always wear proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and use correct safety methods when pruning palms. Only professionals should climb palms when pruning. Consult the ANSI A300 Pruning standards to find out more about correct palm pruning.
Florida palm trees are routinely subjected to “hurricane haircuts” due to the erroneous perception that this practice prevents accidents, according to a USA Today report.
This pruning method, which shapes palm trees into “upside-down feather dusters,” causes extreme harm in palm trees, according to arborists. Palms weakened by over-pruning can lose their entire top crown during storms, said Tim Broschat, a professional of environmental horticulture at University of Florida in Gainesville.
“[The crown] will snap off and kill the tree, and when it comes down it will cause greater damage,” Broschat said.
Aside from that, the over-pruning does little to increase safety. “The only thing that’s going to come off in the wind is dead leaves, they’re very lightweight,” Broschat asserted.