This weekend we decided to do some things around the house we’ve been avoiding, using the summer heat as an excuse. One of the big things was trimming the trees out front – mainly the big palm in the center. It should be done in the spring, but a lot of birds have taken to building nests in it, and if I trim the lower leaves I disturb them too much. Last time I trimmed I ended up dropping two mockingbird nests that had eggs, and I don’t think they came back. Mostly it’s the sparrows and finches, but sometimes I do see the mocking birds up there.
This is dangerous to trim – not because it’s so high but because of the palm fronds. The tree has probably been in for forty years, since the house was built, and the lowest fronds grow at about ten feet above the ground. New fronds come from the center top, forcing the lower ones to rotate from vertical down to horizontal. The fronds are about four meters long, and the ends droop down to touch the ground, getting in the way of cars in the driveway. I usually trim the lowest row every year, but skipped last year so there was a lot to take off. No before photos, but you can see the reach of the tree.
Down at the base of each frond the individual leaves change, ending up as eight inch long hard spikes. I use an electric saw to trim each, and usually the end hits the ground and the frond pivots down toward me. Yesterday I took a spike to the forehead, not very pleasant. You can see the bird nests scattered at the base of each frond.
But it’s all down now, this morning was spend cutting them up and bundling the end pieces, into things the trash men are willing to take.