Due to our mild climate, San Diego has many MANY palm tree species (check out the San Diego Zoo & you will know what I mean) that require varying trimming, maintenance, and nutritional needs. Much like the people in San Diego, each palm species has a story and a history of how it came here. In fact, there is only one palm tree truly native to San Diego, the Washingtonia filifera ‘California Fan Palm.’

The California Fan Palm can be found (as a hybrid in most commercial landscapes) as well as in native groves in the Anza Borrego desert (if you are ever lost in the desert, look for palm trees- you will find water!). Native San Diego civilizations supplemented their food source by harvesting the seedpods produced by these palm trees (unfortunately, these are the same seedpods that litter on our cars and germinate weeds in our lawns).

Since so many of the palm species in San Diego came from somewhere else, they all have varying growth habits and characteristics. Some palms are hardy while some are very finicky and prone to disease and nutritional issues. Some palm trees should only be trimmed with a sterilized handsaw blade (not a chainsaw); while others should not be trimmed at all.

The best time to trim palm trees is determined mainly by three factors:

  • The species type
    The weather (water & temperature)
    It’s overall health & vigor