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How to Collect Palm Fronds


Shade grown palmettos or palm trees tend to have broader leafed fronds. Rule of thumb: the wider the frond the better it will be for thatching - - each frond will cover more surface area!


The best tool to use for removing palm fronds is a machete or plant clippers. Cut leaves from the bottom of the palm plant and leave the leaves at the top of the plant so it can catch sun-rays and live to grow more fronds and fruits.


Cut the frond so you have a stem length of approximately four to five feet. You will use the stem for stacking and for hauling the fronds. When you stack the fronds, make sure all the fronds lay flat, flat-side of the stem down, not folded underneath each other. Also, try not to harvest the fronds just after a rain or when they are wet or they will be more difficult to work with. After cutting fronds, fronds need to remain stacked and dry for at least 24 hours. When you begin thatching, you cut the frond stem back to three feet.


Note: The extra stem pieces can be used for basket making. There are many ways to make a sturdy and useful basket with palm stems.


Figure 2A. Leave a stem length of 4-5 feet when cutting palm fronds with a machete.



Figure 2B. Stack palm fronds one on top of the other, flat-side of

 the stem down, making sure the fronds lay flat.