Few arborists read palms like they should. Most simply do not care like those I worked for so many years ago. Some of their butchery is deplorable, and some even kill the palms that they are paid to maintain.

Fortunately, the first example here might be explainable.

It is not uncommon for palms to wear beards of old fronds. Some beards extend all the way to the ground from the viable tops of the associated canopies.

This beard is very different. The canopy is neatly trimmed, without a bead directly below. However, a portion of beard remains on the middle of the trunk. Why would an arborist leave such an impassable obstacle between the ground and the canopy that will likely need grooming again?

I suspect that the tree had been neatly groomed until it got dangerously close to the high voltage cables. Arborists who are not certified for ‘line clearance’ are not allowed to work so close to cables, so were unable to groom the trunk any higher.

However, with boom lifts to avoid climbing, arborists who are certified for such clearance pruning removed the portion of the beard above so that dead fronds do not fall onto the high voltage cables. Such arborists who perform minimal utility clearance pruning are not allowed to do any more than necessary, so can not remove the portion of the beard that is not a threat to the cables, although it is out of reach for other arborists. Therefore, as silly as this looks, this may not be as egregious as it seems to be.

The second example can not be explained so easily. These three Mexican fan palms are very dead. They have been dead for so long that they are now decaying too severely for arborists to climb them safely for removal. Their death was certainly not natural. They were decapitated. Someone climbed to the tops of each of these three palms and cut their single terminal buds off, but left the trunks to die.

Did someone think that they would regenerate new terminal buds or branches like yuccas? If so, why were the trunks left so high? This really defies explanation.

These dead trunks can not be left here. They are so tall that if one falls, it could damage the apartment building across the street, and anything else that happens to be in between. They could kill someone! There are three of them! They are unsafe to climb, so must be removed by crane, which is very expensive.

2 thoughts on “Horridculture – Reading Palms

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