As a rule of thumb, palm fronds should never be removed before they have completely or mostly turned brown. The horizontal outline of palm canopies, for most species, should minimally start at the nine o’clock position and extend over to the three o’clock position. Excessive pruning overtime will eventually weaken a palm and may cause premature death of the tree.

The Dog Days of August have arrived. The last few days of July provided a pleasant and rare weather event: The arrival of a noteworthy cool front last week. Then many areas of the county received heavy rains over the weekend to help relieve the dry summer spell.

So, working outside this month will be more tolerable throughout during early morning or late evening hours.

Dr. William Johnson is a horticulturist with the Galveston County Office of Texas AgriLife Extension Service, The Texas A&M System. Visit his website at

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