Treat Your Palm Trees Like Royalty

I don’t know much about trees, but I do know for their care there is no one better in South Florida than William (Bill) Grubbs.  For more than 40 years, Bill’s Golden Palm Landscaping & Tree Service business has expertly provided landscaping, lawn maintenance and tree services for greater Miami.  For the last decade, Bill has focused on his true love: palm trees.

Bill is one of the elite in the industry.  He is a Certified Arborist, a member of ISA (International Society of Arborculture) and the Arborist Association (now known as the Tree Care Industry).  He served on the board of both at one time or another and was President of the Florida Arborist Association for its first two years of existence.  He also proctors the exam to allow people to become Certified Arborists.  It’s safe to say Bill knows his stuff.

In 1993, when Hurricane Andrew hit, Bill adjusted his business.  He stopped landscaping and became an arborist full-time.  This was a very good thing for the trees in South Florida.  Bill cares so much for trees, that if he takes you on as a client he treats the trees like his kids.  He regularly calls the trees on my property his trees... and I’m OK with that

In the aftermath of Andrew, along with nursing thousands of trees to health, Bill took particular interest in a massive mango tree that was down in his own front yard.  With all the roots exposed, Bill was too busy clearing streets alongside FEMA to care immediately for the tree.  Instead, he had a great idea.  He took mulch that he collected from all the cleanup work he was doing and covered the roots.  Eight months later, he finally had time to stand the tree back up and re-plant the roots.  The tree is alive, well and producing mangos today.

Saving and caring for palm trees is Bill Grubbs main line of work these days.  To help him focus on palms, he sold the tree trimming and servicing business to Frank’s Lawn Service, Inc. about eight years ago and went back to the basics.  It’s just two trucks, two hats (more on that later) and Bill.  No squadron of employees.  Bill says he can keep better tabs on all his patients this way.

Each truck has a task.  His 1-ton fertilizer truck carries a split 400-gallon tank with specially formulated “juice” that he customizes perfectly with the type of tree he is treating.  With the corrosive nature of the fertilizer, the truck has been through four truck beds so far.  After watching the fertilizer eat through three metal beds, Bill built a custom Brazilian hardwood bed that is holding up “considerably better” that the metal.  The other truck, a pick-up, is used for general tree care issues and to take Bill to visit his customers and prospects.

As a long-time customer of Bill’s, I know to always expect him in his safari hat.  What I learned during this interview is that he actually has two hats: one for working outside and one for delivering quotes and estimates.  The “sales” hat eventually wears down and is "promoted" to a working hat.  Once the working hat is thread-bare and "retires", Bill sends it back in to the manufacturer (Tilly) who, for $7, will replace the hat with a new one.  Bill is resourceful and frugal like that in all parts of his business… and he brings humor to all facets of what he does as well.

Impressive are his skills.  I had a bottle palm tree that looked sickly to me.  As soon as Bill took a look, he quickly surmised, "It's hook leaf due to a boron deficiency."  He then snapped lots of digital photos and sent them to several agencies, including the Florida agriculture department.  He wanted to document the somewhat rare case.

With palms squarely in his spectacles, Bill Grubbs is on a mission to eliminate "lethal yellowing", a common condition amongst South Florida palms caused by a bug eating palm sap and spreading the disease.  Beyond regular fertilizing, Bill injects a special antibiotic three times a year.

Six to seven days a week, Bill can be found dragging his hose around properties to deploy his unique ferrtilizer blend right into the palm's root system.  He does it with a smile and humor because he knows he's tending to "his children".

If you'd like to reach Golden Palm Landscaping & Tree Service, please contact Bill at 305-595-2612 or at