The phoenix palm problem

Phoenix palms are a serious problem in our neighbourhoods.

They pose a risk to people's safety from their spines, prevent native regeneration, and support pest species like rodents.

When small, they can be dug up and disposed of. But once established and larger they are much more difficult to deal with. So it's much better to get them early.

Please be aware of the risks when handling fallen fronds and only do so with the correct PPE and equipment. Read on to find out more.

What’s the problem with phoenix palm?

Phoenix palm have sharp spines that easily penetrate skin and often snap off, working their way deep into tissues in under 24 hours. And there are reports that they may also carry a toxin.

They definitely cause pain and can cause infection - often requiring surgery for complete removal. Injuries cost the community time off work and the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.

Not only are the spines found on leaf stalks dangerous, but the trunk fibres are extremely sharp and can puncture skin too.

PPE gear should be used when working with phoenix palm material, with extremely thick gloves and eye protection, or seek a professional to help.