There are many different types of commercial palm trees used today.
Nurseries for landscaping.
Orchards for fruit.
Plantations for oil production.
The ones cultivated for landscaping are available in garden centers-either on line or in your neighborhood.
They are generally the types used for ascetic purposes.
When you want to add that little something special to your yard you would choose one of these types.
It all depends on your taste and what kind of look you want.
Some of the popular varieties include; the travelers, royal, fishtail, windmill, foxtail, Christmas, triangle or Bismarck.
If you are looking for some smaller palms you may be looking for a dwarf palmetto, pygmy date, broad-leaf lady, bottle or a sago.
For the orchards you’d be looking at the Pindo or jelly palm, date and coconut varieties for their fruit production.
The oil palms for their edible oil or biodiesel production.
It really doesn’t matter too much what the commercial palm trees are used for, they all pretty much start out the same-in a nursery.
The trees are started in a pot, usually from a seed.
The orchard and plantation types are transplanted to the cleared section of land once they are large enough... somewhere around 2-3 feet tall.
The same principles apply here as if you were starting any kind of fruit tree orchard.
The spacing you give the trees will depend on the mature size of the tree and how the fruit is to be harvested.
Oil will be different than date or coconut, etc.
Almost all palms need a great amount of sunshine.
Care must be taken when deciding on how far apart to plant them.
Make sure they aren’t shaded too much by each other when they are full grown.
Also to be considered of course is the water and fertilizer requirements of the commercial palm trees themselves.
What does the land you are going to plant them on have to offer?
Each palm species is a bit different in the water they require.
Some coming from a more desert, arid type of environment. Others from a tropical humid environment.
Only choose the varieties that are best suited to you area.
Take into account the humidity and average rain fall.
If lots of water is required, how will you irrigate? Where will the water come from?
Most will need well drained soil. Their roots should never be standing in water.
Fertilizing will all depend on you area as well as type of palm.
Best check with the local growers in your area for the best advice on the fertilization requirements of the palm types you’ve chosen.
Ask about possible mineral deficiencies.
If the tree is known for a magnesium deficiency then pick a fertilizer that has extra magnesium in it or supplement with a water soluble magnesium product occasionally.
Common pests and diseases affecting your choice of tree and how to address them.
It’s way too big of a subject to be able to go into much detail here.
The commercial palm trees available at your local garden center start the same way-in a nursery and possibly even in a green house.
Once these guys get to be a bit better than a seedling they are often transplanted into a pot large enough that:
1. They won’t have to be transplanted again for a year or two, and
2. That in all probability will be sold in that pot.
You as the buyer would then place the tree where you wanted it in your yard or in a more decorative pot for display.
You could leave it in the pot it came in, but chances are it's just a plain plastic one.
Not very appealing on the patio.
Same thing goes here.
Only buy from a reputable supplier that has knowledge of the trees they are selling.
When you have questions like:
for the type of tree you’ve purchased.
They can at least guide you to the proper answers.
If they don’t know anything about the trees....move on to someone who does.
I hoped I’ve at least answered some of the basic questions asked when you think of commercial palm trees.
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Growing has the plant hardiness zones, explains soil and sun requirements and other commonly used terminology.
Fertilizing helps with understanding what the numbers mean, how to calculate the amount and where to apply.