The palm grows abundantly in tropical, mangrove swamps and desert regions. Their height depends on the species from small palm 8 feet to humongous trees. The leaves/branches have sharp spines and grow from an apex bud.
The truck has no bark a pith center with leaves that fan out. The leaves are 6 feet wide to 40 to 70 feet long. The palm bares fruits with hard kernels that contain the dates. It takes 6 years to mature, produce flowers and bare fruits.
They have good longevity and can live 100 years. Date palms have straight trunks and covered in boney scales. The feather shaped leaves reach 12 feet in length.
The tree are either male or female and pollination is through wind dispersal. A single branch of dates weigh 30 pounds and a tree can produce 10 branches.
Top Producers of Dates
There are over 200 types of dates grown around the world. Top producers are Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt. Others are Sudan, China and Yemen. Iraq, Tunisia, Algeria Yemen and Morocco.
- United Arab Emirates
- Saudi Arabia
Types of Palm
There are different types of palm trees. We have the betel nut palm, sago palm, coconut palm and date palm.
The palm tree has good economic value based on the different products. The palm leaves are made into baskets, furniture and home décor. They are used to build local huts and roofing material.
Uses include production of wine, sugar, fencing and mat. Dates are rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins. In traditional medicine they are used as laxatives. Some are an ingredient in animal feed or burned for fuel.
- Home décor
- Build local huts
- Roofing material
- Production of wine
- Traditional medicine
- Animal feed
- Burned for fuel
Commercial cultivation requires individual pollination and they start producing after 8 years. The dates are harvested from the palm, dried in the sun and stored. They are ideal food for livestock and require manual labor.
How to Grow Dates
To grow date palm clean the tree and cut the torn off the date fronds. The date tree is either male or female. The female tree produces flower while the male produces pollen. To grow date palm pollination is done by hand.
Male Tree: Collecting the Pollen
Once the sheaths on the male plant begin to split and open it is removed from the tree and tied with a string. The next step is to hang it upside down to dry. The dried pollen becomes a fine powder which is sifted and stored in an airtight container.
The female date palm produces the same type of sheath. Once they start flowering the sheath is removed and each strand separated. The strands are then tied together and flowers pollenated with the pollen collected from the male plant.
The process of pollination is repeated two more times. Each bunch of strand is opened leaving only the outside strand. The offshoot of the parent plant are date pups. The date pups are transplanted and watered moderately.