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Carpe Diem: Palm trees

Carpe Diem: Palm trees

Many types of palm trees do well in the desert Southwest -- especially because palm trees don't require a lot of water.

"Palm trees, if you water them too much, will get root rot," said Sid Steadman of Sunset Gardens. Our expert landscaper is teaching us how to care for palm trees in this week's "Carpe Diem" segments.

Sid said watering a palm tree once a week is enough. In fact, keeping palm trees healthy doesn't have to be complicated, it just has to be consistent. First off, Sid said the best time to plant or transplant a palm is in the middle of summer. "Palms love heat," he said. But, "the best time to prune a palm tree is to prune them after the last freeze end of the spring, beginning of summer," said Sid. And when you prune, make sure you cut close to the tree and don't leave a section of the ffrond sticking out.

If you have planted or inherited a palm with a thin trunk such as a California palm, you may need to insulate it for the winter so it won't freeze and die. Sid said this can be done by wrapping two layers of burlap all the way up the heart which is at the top of the tree. If the tree is taller than 10 feet, Sid said it's best to leave both pruning and insulating to a professional. If you happen to have a palm tree that breaks, Sid said it is definitely a result of freeze damage.

Palm trees can also be messy if you don't prune them right. Palm trees are male and female and cross pollinate. The females bloom flowers that release hundreds of thousands of seeds. If you don't prune those flowers in time in the spring, the seeds can get in crevices of your landscaping and yard. In our "Gear Friday" segment, Sid shows us what you need to prune a tree and how you can reverse freeze damage.

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