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Canary Island Date Palm-King of the Dates

Canary Island Date Palms

The Canary Island Date palm is the king of all date palms.

A gorgeous specimen often used for lining streets or lane ways-

in city parks and landscapes that are large enough to incorporate its size.

Originating on the island in Spain it is named after...

you can now find it in various locations all over the world.


This type of date palm has a beautiful display of sometimes up to 100 green feather leaves.

The leaf stem of the lower leaves have sharp spines and are usually orange in color.

Its trunk is brown with a diamond shape pattern caused by the scars of past leaves.

Both male and female Canary Island Date palms will grow small yellow to orange flowers on sprays that can be as long as 6 feet.  

The fruits will develop on the female only after pollination with Mother Natures help.

The dates are orange when ripe and are edible.

These trees aren’t typically grown for their fruit production as other date palms are.

The better purpose seems to be an impressive ornamental plant.

Beautiful Canary Island Date Palm Tree


Young canary Island Date Palms in Spain

This palm will happily grow in almost any type soil. It is fairly salt tolerant and extremely drought tolerant.

With that said; if you’ve chosen it for your landscape giving it a light regular watering in the dry season will help it to maintain its great looks.  

Some may suffer from a magnesium deficiency.

Feeding with a good slow release palm fertilizer will prevent it.

The Canary Island date palm is susceptible to lethal yellowing and on occasion  TPPD (Texas Phoenix palm decline) .

It is more highly prone to a fungus called Fusarium wilt.

The article on pruning discusses the best practices to avoid this fungus.

They are also a target of the palmetto weevil. This beetle will generally attack stressed palms. If you keep them healthy and happy you will reduce the chances of attracting this pest.

Quick info:    scientific name—Phoenix canariensis

  • 70-90 ft tall, 25-40 ft wide, has single trunk
  • Minimum temp 25°F    zones 9-11
  • Growth: medium to slow
  • Full sun, any soil type and drought tolerant

Canary Island Date Palm Tree - Medium

Pruning Canary Island Date Palms

Canary Island Date Palm That is Over Pruned

These wonderful specimens are often over pruned.

Many communities that use them for the street planting will prune off all but about 8-10 leaves that stick straight up in the air. (of the 100 leaves possible- there aren't many left)

The pattern left resembles a pineapple- giving these trees the nickname of "pineapple palm" in some areas.

A couple of reasons are: costs probably play a factor- having to prune less often and sometimes the interference with power lines.

Image credit: nowhereman01 / 123RF Stock Photo

Over pruning to this degree will cause the tree to be stressed making it more susceptible to diseases and pests.

There aren't enough leaves left to feed the large tree the nutrients and moisture it needs from the air.

Palms of any kind that are over pruned will develop an unnatural thinning of the trunk causing it to be weak in those areas.

If they are challenged with high winds like the Santa Anna winds in California or hurricane force winds in the Gulf of Mexico or Florida they will snap under the force.

If you are planning on having any Canary Island date palms in your landscape or city- plan for its large growth beforehand.

This will ensure everyone can enjoy this tree displayed the way it should be.

A noble looking tree with a full display of beautiful green leaves accented with orange.


Canary Island Date Palms

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NOTE :  About Buying Palms

If you are looking to buy palm trees of any kind then I would highly recommend purchasing through the Real Palm Tree Store.

They are a huge nursery based in Florida with connections to many quality growers.

Whether you are ordering from inside the United States, Canada or another part of the world-- ordering one tree for your landscape or many for a commercial project-- I’m confident you won’t be disappointed.

Their customer service is second to none; all products are high quality and backed by a money back 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Make sure to visit real palm trees, ask questions and read the reviews before buying anywhere else.

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You may also find these articles useful:

The articles on large, small and cold hardy varieties gives a list of the palms in each category.

Indoor palms lists the easiest to grow in your home or office.

Planting demonstrates the best practices for your next palm tree addition.

Fertilizing-- learn how to determine the amount, where to place and what kinds are best for you tropical garden.

Pruning--learn what, when and how much to trim.

Growing: will teach you the plant hardiness zones,the meanings of soil pH, and what some of the common terminology means.

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