The Daily Risks Faced by Palm Tree Trimmers

Max Rodriguez

It is arguably one of the most dangerous jobs in the Coachella Valley, Palm Tree Trimmers dangle up to 100 feet off the ground multiple times a day with only a rope to suspend them from a long way down.

It seems there are Palm Trees in every corner of the desert and their maintenance gives room to an entire local job sector, but these are jobs only a few risks to do.

Mark Morocco is the owner of Rocco’s Desert Landscape and said Palm Tree trimming is a difficult and dangerous job.

“They go up there and they come down, I think it’s a difficult job that often gets overlooked,” Morocco said. “We have to hire the right people to do it the right way, so they don’t leave a mess, and they don’t bring disease to the Palm Tree if their chainsaws are not clean.”

These trimmers are not using cherry-pickers to get up close to the Palm Trees, spiked shoes, a couple of ropes and a harness are what keeps them off the ground.

One of Rocco’s employees made it up a tree in less than a minute, about 40 Palm Trees is the most they have trimmed in a day.

Morocco said, “These right here it’s been about three months, so it’s not going to cost as much if it’s been about a year or two it’s going to be more money because of more trash you’re going to have to hollower to the dump.”

He said landscaping is a year-round business while June is the busiest for Palm Tree trimming as it is blooming season, but he said the job still goes underpaid for the amount of danger they are exposed daily.

Morocco said, “Don’t charge a lot for it for how much of a risk it is and I don’t care if it’s a million dollars up there if they fall down you know, end of their day.”

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