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Palm tree trimming in progress

Palm tree trimming in progress

It’s that time of year again when palm trees in Sun City West are scheduled for annual maintenance. As you can imagine, it is an enormous job to trim them all; Association properties within the community are home to 2,412 palms!


There are 1,496 palm trees on our golf courses: 200 Date, 1,286 Mexican Fan and 10 Queen palms. The total at other Rec Centers’ properties and in common areas is 916: 144 Date, 768 Mexican Fan and 4 Queen palms.


Over the past 7 years, 237 palm trees have been eliminated in common areas throughout Sun City West. 12 additional trees will be removed this summer. As future landscaping projects are undertaken, we plan to whittle away at the totals even more!


Our golf course crews are busy keeping up with their responsibilities, are not trained to trim tall palms, plus our insurance does not cover this activity being undertaken by them. Hiring a contractor to complete this work is necessary and is no simple task. We line up a company months in advance.


The trimming of all 2,412 palm trees will take the better part of the summer. We wanted to be sure you know we’re working on it and appreciate your patience.


  1. Vivian Beaugrand says:

    The palm trees have gotten too tall to look attractive…more need to be taken down rather than spending money trimming them.

    • Multimedia says:

      We agree Vivian. It made sense back when Del Webb was building this resort community, but over the years we have been trying to cut back on the amount of palm trees. Upkeep on them has increased over the years and the costs are becoming more and more prohibitive as contractors who deal with them have decreased. As opportunities arise they are being eliminated. Stay tuned.

  2. Tom McLean says:

    Lots of numbers about what types of palms but nothing about costs. If it costs $10.00 to trim a palm I don’t care; if it cost $10,000.00 I do care. I like palms, how about removing the highest, and I guess the most costly ones to trim, and replacing that palm with a palm that doesn’t grow as tall?

  3. Palms at the R.H. Johnson pool give not much needed shade. Why not canvas sail tarps for shade? I can’t go to that pool until I know pool will be shaded by building. (I’ve already had some skin cancer removed)

    Why would you plant 24 $0000.00 palms? A couple of drought tolerant plants could be planted?

    And Please consider a solution to needed shade? The shade over the lounge chairs only casts shade in early morning.

    We don’t need more age spots.

    • Multimedia says:

      Hi Min. We will pass along your thoughts on the palm trees and additional shade at R.H. Johnson to Rec and facilities staff. Thanks.

  4. cvzorro says:

    Why such extreme trimming? In all the years I’ve lived here, I don’t recall the palms looking like ‘feather dusters’ before now. The base from which the fronds emerge now appears to be increasingly small, and getting even smaller each year.

    • Multimedia says:

      Hi cvzorro, thanks for your input. We tend to trim our palms so that they’re in a 10 and 2 pattern (like the hands on a clock) once they’re finished. The county, who are responsible for the palms in the median on R.H. Johnson for example, do a more severe trim, ending with fronds remaining between 11 and 1. If we were not somewhat aggressive with this annual project, the trees would already be looking unkempt by the end of summer. It would also dictate trimming all 2,412 of our palm trees twice a year, perhaps even three times. It is very difficult to get contractors and a very expensive undertaking as well, which is why we make our trimming decision.

  5. Palms trees cannot be as messy as the new trees you have planted. They give out yellow flowers and can be a real mess on cars.

    • Multimedia says:

      Hi Tanna. Palm trees are pretty messy, especially during monsoon, but it’s the maintenance …annual trimming, which gets more and more expensive each year as the number of contractors who are willing to trim them declines. The newest trees we’ve planted around the community are Southern Live Oaks, not the Palo Verdes, which have yellow flowers. There are a lot of different kinds of trees out there to consider and each situation will be dealt with on a case by case, project by project basis. Thanks for your comments.

  6. Very informative article thanks. Very well written and informative. Do palm trees use a lot of water?

    • Multimedia says:

      Hi Robert. When they’re young, such as the ones at the R.H. Johnson pool complex, they take more water. Once established they do not require as much.

  7. Ronni Hoover says:

    Well, driving through SCW after the wind storm 2 days ago tells us why we residents need to either take better care of our palms or get rid of them. Palm debris is all over our streets… what happens when one of those dead fronds hit one of our cars? My neighborhood is a real mess right now because residents have not trimmed their palms. Please realize this is a yearly responsibility!

  8. I would like to get rid of 5 palm trees in my yard.
    who is the service you use ?


    • Multimedia says:

      Hi Yvonne. We tend to use large tree contractors from the across the Valley. Due to them having to take on storm debris jobs this week, we are currently having some difficulty keeping them on our task, but we’re keeping on it. Our suggestion would be to contact PORA to ask for a short list of tree professionals/arborists. Good luck!

  9. I count 2412 total. Unless there are another 916 somewhere else. Hopefully the bid wasn’t awarded to do 3328.

    • Multimedia says:

      Oh my gosh John, thank you for that! Looks like I added in the 916 twice when posting the original story last week. I appreciate your keen eye, the article has been edited to reference the correct number of 2,412.

  10. Kerri Green says:

    The middle paragraph sounds like the goal is to get rid of all the palm trees. Is that true?

    • Multimedia says:

      Hi Kerri. The goal isn’t to get rid of all of the palm trees, but reducing their numbers will certainly reduce cleanup and costs (trimming). Where appropriate, new trees will be planted, they just won’t be palms.

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