You may have one of these in your garden – beware! Both varieties of Phoenix palm (Phoenix roebellenii and Phoenix canariensis) commonly known as the Date Palm, pose a significant Health and Safety risk to anyone touching them. The hardened thorns found at the frond base are extremely sharp and are toxic. The tip will often snap off once they have penetrated the skin. The thorn tips are very small and can be very hard to detect, even with MRI, X-ray or ultra-sound. The tips have the ability to penetrate into joints and tendons causing a great deal of pain and long-term problems for the affected finger or limb.
Eye protection, thick clothing and leather gloves are the minimum required for any work on these trees. Because of this, it is more than worthwhile to get a professional to deal with any grooming or removal requirements.