Relations between cityscape-related and palm-inherent variables and the pruning state of urban Arecaceae suggest three reasons for overpruning

Lyn-Kristin Hosek, Andreas Roloff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
123 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In warmer climates palms (Arecaceae) are commonly found in city environments, planted mainly for the purpose of landscape beautification. Overpruning these palms can have negative side-effects, which reduce the health and therewith the aesthetical value of the plant. Despite this, it is not uncommon to see palms in cities that had too many of their fronds removed. This study aimed to find relations between various factors, such as ‘species’ or ‘distance to the closest road’, and the pruning state of Arecaceae in the study city Olhão (Portugal) in order to suggest reasons for the continued existence of this practice and approaches to reduce its prevalence. Only two factors, ‘height’ and ‘distance to the closest object’, showed the same relations with the pruning state for the three most common species and should therefore be the first to address in order to reduce overpruning. Data analysis proposes three underlying reasons, personal taste in relation with misinformation, improper choice of species for available planting sites, and economic factors as most likely to be responsible for widespread overpruning. While the latter is difficult to address, implementing educative measures to inform relevant personnel about the negative side-effects and better species-site matching could show fast and cost-efficient improvements in the reduction of the practice of overpruning and therewith the danger of reduced aesthetic value of Arecaceae, undermining the purpose of their original planting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)975-981
JournalUrban Forestry & Urban Greening
Volume14
Issue number4
Early online date16 Sep 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Chamaerops humilis
  • Crown
  • Leaves
  • Phoenix canariensis
  • Removal
  • Washingtonia robusta

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