Last Updated on January 4, 2021 by Matt Gardener
Will a palm tree die if you cut the top off? Yes. Palm trees aren’t real trees, at least not in their growth and body structure. For example, when you trim an apple, pine, or oak tree, the dominant buds growing on branches sprout even better.
But this does not happen with palm trees. So, YES! If you cut off the palm tree’s top, it will die because a new green frond cannot form.
The foliage component of the plant is responsible for photosynthesis so when you cut the palm’s top, which also houses the fronds, photosynthesis cannot tale place. Hence, the plant cannot make its food for growth or storage as fruits. And gradually, the plant will die.
In today’s article, we will be looking at what happens when you cut off the palm tree’s top as well as other things that can stop the growth of a palm tree.
Will A Palm Tree Die If You Cut the Top Off?
YES, plan trees will die if you cut off the top. When you cut off the palm’s top, you have just a pole that can do any stuff poles do. Palms grow only at buds, and this bud is at the end of stems and trunks.
These tips of stems and trunks are known as crownshafts. The crownshafts are green, long, and plump columns that sit on top of the trunk. New leaves grow from developing crownshaft or tips.
If you cut off the crown of the trunk or stem of any palm tree, you have succeeded in cutting off its growing point. You have brought an end to the stem’s growth, and nothing else can grow at that stem or trunk.
This is especially true for palms with single stems. For clustering palms, a lower basal growth occurs to replace the stem or trunk.
You should only cut the palmtop if the intention is to eliminate the palm tree. If this is not your intention, then do not try cutting the top off.
If the goal is to cut down the palm, it has to happen safely and controlled by the tree. The palm is tall and could pose a hazard if not handled properly. One of the ways to safely cut the palm is to cut the palm in sections. This is particularly important in high traffic areas.
It is better also to remove palms without tops. The trunk will keep rotting away if left standing and this will lead to insects and other animals that love dirt to live therein. A cluster of insects is always a menace.
Lastly, the palms without heads have to be cut because they are dangerous to passersby. Due to instability and lack of life, the trunk can bend or break, then fall on a property or human close by.
What Else Can Stop the Growth of a Palm Tree?
Topping is the name for cutting off the crown of the palm, and it is not the only thing that can stop the plant from growing. Let’s discuss another thing that can stop a palm from growing.
Palm trees ideally do not stop growing if everything is right. But in reality, it seems as though they do. First of all, palm trees fare better when they are in the tropics. Hence, it is not surprising that most of the tallest palms are in the world’s tropical nations.
Palm trees have a relatively long lifespan and can keep growing with the right environment all through their lives. Most palms live between 40 to 90 years and can grow up to 200 feet, depending on the variety.
Aside from topping and injury to the trunk of the tree, one thing that stops the palm’s growth is its inability to get water up to the palm’s top.
Palm trees have their growing tips at the palmtop, and due to the great heights, the vascular system may not have the ability to keep up with sending nutrients to such height. And if there are no nutrients for growth, the palm will stop growing.
- Read Also: How to Get Rid of White Fungus on Palm Trees
Will a palm tree die if you cut the top off? Absolutely. When you cut the top off, the growing part of the plant goes off too. And you are left with nothing but a tall pole. If it is not your intention to kill your palm tree or cut it down, then cutting the top is a bad idea.
If you want to cut off the palm, on the other hand, you have to do it safely to avoid destroying lives and properties. Ensure you cut the trunk, segment by segment, so only a small part falls from such great length.