Here we show the results of our labour reducing a Cordyline palm. Also known as cabbage palms, these trees are originally from New Zealand. They can grow to about thirty feet, which is about the height of a three storey building.

This particular one was probably only at about fifteen to twenty feet. But the customer felt it already took too much sunlight from the southwest.

These trees will happily take a reduction. They will even grow back if cut down to a stump at ground level. In this case, we removed the whole of the upper part of the canopy, down to the big bunch of leaves at about 60% up the height of the original tree. The customer liked the shoot at the base, so we left that too.

Tidying up a Cordyline palm tree

They can also be tidied up, by removing the dead bits: wood, leaves and flower stems. This is called a crown clean. Here’s what that looks like, although there don’t seem to be any dead flower stems visible in the before photo. I’ll need to have a chat with my photographer. Actually hang on, that’s me…

So you can see the dead stump has gone from the left hand stem. This is recommended as otherwise the rot can enter the live stem. Also all the dead, brown leaves in the right hand stem in the left photo are not there in the right hand photo.

This makes the trees look fresher. It allows more sunlight to reach the garden below. And gives the owner a break from clearing up the dead leaves.

For further reading, see the Royal Horticultural Society’s page by clicking here.

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Reducing a Cordyline palm

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