How To Prevent A Palm Tree From Growing Back Again After Removal

Palm trees can make a very attractive tropic feature on your land when grown singly or in groups and grow particularly well in coastal areas. Although palms are tolerant of windy conditions, very high winds can snap palm trunks if disease has already weakened the wood.

In such circumstances it may occasionally be necessary to have the tree removed for safety reasons. Very large specimens are best dealt with by a professional tree services company, but you may want to remove a smaller tree yourself and prevent it from growing back.

Here's how to do it.

What you will need

  • hand saw
  • gloves
  • shovel
  • topsoil
  • turf or grass seed (optional)

How to do it

Palm bark and leaves can be very rough and abrasive so always wear thick gloves when handling any part of the tree.

  1. First of all, use a handsaw to cut the splintered palm tree stump down to a height of about two metres. It's important that you leave this extra length, as you will need to use it as a lever to prise out the root ball later in the process.  
  2. Next, take a shovel and dig around the trunk. Push the shovel into the soil at an angle of about 45 degrees and a metre or so from the trunk. Keep working the shovel around the trunk, cutting through the roots.  
  3. When you have completed a circuit of the stump and severed all the roots, repeat the process, this time using the shovel to push the root ball upwards. This part of the process is hard work, especially if the tree has been growing for a long time and the root ball is firmly embedded in the ground. Use the proud stump as leverage to loosen the root ball, and if possible, recruit a helper for this part of the job.  
  4. Once the root ball is free from the soil, remove it.  
  5. You'll now be able to see if there are any large exposed roots left behind in the hole vacated by the root ball. Pull the roots out, making sure that none remain.  
  6. Finally, fill in the hole with topsoil. Tread the soil down well to get rid of any trapped air pockets.  
  7. At this point, you could lay a piece of turf to cover the bare patch left behind by the palm tree or you may prefer to scatter some grass seed instead.

If one of your palm trees has snapped during high winds, you can remove the stump and root ball by following the instructions given above. If you prefer, ask your local tree services contractor to do the work for you.