When discussing landscape management, many landscaping companies overlook the largest pieces of plant material on your property. Trees are essential to both environment and landscape, acting as a home for wildlife, and creating oxygen to help you breathe better. Mature trees increase property value over time, as they provide both privacy and protection from the elements. Of the trees native to Florida, palm trees are by far the most prevalent. As the state tree of Florida, it is hard to go anywhere without seeing them. If you have some palm trees on your property, you need to know how to care for them to maximize value. Here are 5 things to know about palm tree care.
Know Your Variety: Temperature Tolerance
Unlike our fellow Floridians to the south, we occasionally experience frost and even freeze. As palm trees are a tropical plant, they are not always built to withstand a sudden drop in temperature. Some varieties are, while others are not. For the purposes of planting in our area, a cold tolerant variety is your best bet. In the same vein, you need to know if your variety is best left in the full sun, or grown in the shade. Knowing the specifics of your variety is the first step to effective care.
Water Levels: Moist Soil
Most palm trees prefer when their soil is moist, but not wet. Overwatering can cause problems, such as decay or yellowing of fronds. When the first three inches of the soil are dry, but moist underneath, this is your sign to water. Natural rainfall should supplement these water levels, but it should be deep so your roots develop down rather than shallow.
Fertilization: Easy on the Phosphorus
Just like lawn fertilizer, tree fertilizers have three numbers listed on their label. The first one is nitrogen, the second one is phosphorus, and the final number is potassium. Because palms can be sensitive to phosphorus, you want that middle number to be lower than the rest. Additionally, you should be fertilizing at inception when the plant is installed, and anytime you feel like the palm needs a health boost. Late spring before the summer heat, and fall before the cold of the winter are both good options.
Pruning: Early Spring, Early Fall
Palm trees are actually pretty relaxed when it comes to pruning, as it will improve their health at all times of the year, except during dormant season. This is the late fall and winter when no growth is occurring, so removing decayed foliage will only leave the tree bare, rather than ripe and ready to grow back. Pruning is really only required about once a year, and brown fronds, flowers, and fruit are all good indicators.
Mulch: Protect the Roots
Just like mulch can insulate the roots of your flowers in their plant beds, you can add a layer of mulch to the base of your palm to do the same. This will keep heat in during the winter, and moisture in during the summer. Mulch also looks great aesthetically, and adds an element of uniformity to your landscape.
Commercial or Residential, Taylor Anthony is prepared to help you manage your landscape by providing the right solution for your situation, call us today at (904) 230-3386.