Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Palm Trees

In my Photo of the Day today (Palm shadow) Karen mentioned in the comment section that she didn't know that palm trees needed to be trimmed.  I thought that was rather interesting, so I decided to do a little informational post.  (It also gave me a reason to go out and take some photos!)  I looked for an untrimmed palm tree, but couldn't find one that I could get to easily - so I went to Google and found this one.

The palm fronds usually don't fall off.  They dry up and fall over, but never come off of the trunk.  It looks like a big shaggy column when they haven't been trimmed.  They are also a huge fire hazzard.

There are several different looks to a trimmed palm tree.  Some are more attractive than others, depending on the tree.  Come with me and I'll show you!

This is typical.  The fronds are cut off at a point that is easy to get to and not too labor intensive.  This type of trimming leaves a large bulb just under the new fronds.  As the cut portions dry they end up hugging the tree a bit more.  All sorts of wonderful things grow and hide in these little spaces, as you can see above. 

This is the perfect little home for a gecko to hide out during the afternoon sun.  I've seen many of them peeking out from behind these little arrows.  I doubt that's a technical term for these.  It's just what I call them :)

Another common sight is this one.  The fronds have been cut as above, but when the tree trimmers come back out months later to trim the next batch that has fallen, they also trim up the arrows that were left behind.   There aren't as many hiding spots for critters and plants, but the moss sure love this.  This example is right here in my condo complex.  I think it's really pretty.

See all the clouds in the sky?  That's part of the storm system from Hurricane Ida.  We only got a sprinkling of rain and a bunch of wind, but the dense cloud cover was so odd.  Especially since it lasted all day.  Anyway, back to the palm trees.  This next example shows some examples of different trimming techniques.  The ferns just love this tree!  The dead palm fronds have been cut very near the trunk like the first example, but when the trimmers came back, they trim away the arrows as close as possible. 

Here's a close up of the ferns.  You know those lovely ferns that shed their tiny little leaves all over the place when you have them in the Northern climates?  When I lived in Michigan I just stopped buying ferns for houseplants.  I could kill them in less than a week.    They grow all over the place here in Florida.  No one even has to take care of them.  They just grow in the nooks and crannies of the palm trees.  Isn't that cool?!  I think so.

and finally... here is the perfectly manicured trunk of that last palm.  This is a pretty good shot if I do say so myself!  You can see the little bits of lichen growing here.  It doesn't matter how the trunks are trimmed, something finds its way to use it as housing.

I hope you've enjoyed my observances of palm tree trimming.  I'm sure an expert could give a whole lot more information on the wheres and hows and whys but hey, I'm a photographer and blogger :) 

Have a fabulous day!

NaBloPoMo site of the day - 365 Days: Art Projects and Life through a Lens


jennifer said...

As many palm trees as there are near our home, this was all new to me. VERY interesting post!

Unknown Mami said...

I had no idea that palm trees get Brazilians. Crazy!

DysFUNctional Mom said...

Very interesting post & pretty pictures.
We got that cloud cover from Ida too and it made for a very eerie, weird sunset. But before that, a double rainbow!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting K - I had no idea. Another great post - Lori

Karen said...

You have given this old midwestern gal a lesson. I thought palm trees naturally grew with the "arrows" on the trunks. I just thought they were crazy interesting trees. I will repeat what others have said, "I had no idea." Thanks for the illustrated botany lesson. By the way, I showed your post to a couple of people today. This was news to them also.

Keetha Broyles said...

WOW - - - some how I got REALLY BEHIND on your blog this week!

Plants growing on other plants are called epiphytes. Just a little science trivia to brighten your day!

Leigh of Bloggeritaville said...

A most interesting post! AS often as I am at the beach I have never given it thought, just always assumed that they were "just like that". WOW! Thanks Kristin, this was so interesting and beautifuL!

Kathryn said...

I enjoyed your post. I grew up in CA surrounded by palm trees but I'd forgotten how different they could look.