Trimming a Palm Tree

Jan 30, 2020 by Mike Bibb

By Mike Bibb

During a recent visit to Rocky Point I had an opportunity to experience something I don’t regularly see – a palm tree trimmer trimming a palm tree.

While camped at the Playa Bonita RV Park, enjoying the sun, sand and low-flying motorized gliders noisily buzzing overhead, I noticed a guy climbing up and down the park’s numerous palm trees. Each time he’d whack-off a few large branches, do a little additional trimming around the base of the remaining prongs, place the cutter back into his belt and swiftly climb down.

Unlike in the United States where tree trimmers regularly use hi-lift hydraulic bucket hoists to elevate them to the desired working level, the trimmer in the picture fabricated his own lift-system using a rope and a couple of stirrup-like devices to scamper up and down the smooth narrow trunk of the palm tree.

Upon reaching the palm prongs/branches to be trimmed, he made quick work of the task with a large knife, similar to a machete. A single swipe of the blade was usually all that was required to send the severed prong spiraling to the ground.

After trimming the tree of excessive prongs, he’d quickly descend to the ground, slip-off his makeshift harness, moved to the next tree and repeated the procedure.

After about an hour’s time, several trees had been trimmed. A coworker busily picked-up the discarded trimmings and resulting debris, tossed them onto a flatbed trailer and eventually hauled the load away.

Just another day in the life of a gringo turista – and a local tree trimmer trying to make ends meet.

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