Recently I have got allot of questions from apartments and property owners on the correct maintenance of a palm. Although I am not jumping out of bed to go climb a palm in the morning, My brother specializes in palm tree trimming so I know enough to get by. What I have been telling everyone is pretty basic but at times people need to hear it from someone.
First and foremost I tell everyone that there is no wrong way to maintenance if you like the appearance.
With that being said there is some things to avoid.
1. If you skin a palm do the whole thing or none of it. Half is not proper.
2. Full Beards are acceptable and liked by some, just remember that beards can weigh up to a 1,000lbs and in time they may fall and always drop debris. The falling beards are common in the California and Mexican palm and can happen when it reaches 14 foot or less.
3. When you have your palm trimmed (on a skinned palm), have the climber go up the same side every time, usually a side not visible, and its not rude to ask them to take it easy on your palm. When the tree has been climbed a dozen times or so have them switch paths to avoid damaging the palm. Often if you are not carefull they will be unclimbable with to many pieces missing (this is a propblem w/ a mexican palm that can reach 100' and the California up to 60'). On a palm that has not been skinned I would ask the climber to not knock off the old cut fronds on the way up. Some climbers push them off w/ their spikes trying to get a good foothold and after a few climbs you will be forced to skin it due to having bare spots.
4. If you have a property that allows it, call a company w/ a lift. It may cost a little more but in the long run it will spare you from an ugly palm and postpone any of the problems I have listed.
5. The most important thing to remember !!!! Make sure you are using a reputable company w/ insurance. There are guys who go around and trim palms all day long for 35$. They have no insurance and in time they stand a good chance of getting hurt. Palm tree climbing deaths are common and if they are not insured your home owners insurance or you will be responsible.
The tree climber may just say they are insured so if your gut tells you, make them show you their policy. In the tree business it is common for us who are insured to have a copy w/ us or at the office. Either way if you ask to see it, always the top companies will provide it and even put you down as a certificate holder if needed.
I hope this was helpful, I again consider our company the top in Tucson tree removals, tree stump removal and tree trimming service, palms are often a trade of their own but I hope a little info will help you.