Palm tree is it necessary to trim.

Bermuda Dunes, CA

Is there a reason to remove the brown "skirt" made from dead fronds if they are high above the ground ?
I hear they can even be protective for the tree.
Do you have any references that could support the preservation of the brown
dead leaves?
My homeowners association is trying to get me to trim my trees, but I like the more mature, natural look.
I live near palm springs, calif. I have had no rodent problem
Thanks for any help.

Long Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

Your HOA is probably wanting you to trim off the dead fronds because eventually the wind will blow them off and they make a huge mess. Right now they're everywhere down here due to the winds we had a few nights ago. They land in the middle of the street, on people's cars, on roofs, get tangled in power lines, etc.
Depending on what species of palms they are, they can also have huge pointed spikes on them as well as rows of jagged thorn-like teeth on the stems.
When they fold down and envelop the trunk in that skirt-like fashion they do become a haven for rodents and other critters. You may not think you have a rodent problem but there'a more than likely something living under them which you don't see as they're nocturnal in their activity.
That "skirting" is probably a natural protective mechanism against cold temperatures acting as insulation for the new fronds, especially the taller the palm gets and is exposed to colder air.

Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

Additionally, the brown hanging fronds make a great place for wasps to build nests. Found that out rather painfully.....grin.

Also, as JasperDale mentioned, old fronds, over a period of time can become lethal.

Here is an article from Geoff Stein, a DG member and plant enthusiast, on pruning palms.

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

Cant agree more with JasperDale and themoonhowl, I witnessed a few years back an incident when these heavy dead fronds fall onto someone's head while unsuspectingly passing by the Palms, also the partner of the injured lady had terrible lacerations to his hands and arms while rushing to get the fronds off the lady who was hurt and in shock.
The sad bit of that incident was that at the other end of the road, garden workmen were already cutting and clearing the brown and damaged fronds so it is not just your neighbours who don't like the look, worry or danger, and haven from all the wildlife that shelter, but there is a public liability problem to think about IF someone or vehicle etc gets damaged especially if it is known that you were asked to deal with this problem.
A Natural look is one thing but danger is different and possibly it is the latter that your neighbours are more concerned with.
Good Luck.WeeNel.

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