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Canary Island Date Palm-King of the Dates

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.

Canary Island Date PalmsCanary Island Date Palms


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 TreeBeautiful Canary Island Date Palm


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) .

Young canary Island Date Palms in SpainYoung Canary Island Date Palms

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 PrunedOver pruned Canary Island Date Palm

CC   photo by: nowhereman01/123RF 

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.

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 please 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 their orange fruits.


BeautifulCanary Island Date Palms lining a drivewayCanary Island Date Palms lining a driveway.

Landscaping Ideas

  • Small Palm Trees for Landscapes  Small palm trees are the perfect addition to ensure your landscape has that tropical feel. Which one will you choose for your little slice of paradise?
  • Large Palm Trees for Landscapes  There are many majestic looking large palm trees you could use in your landscape. Some are perfect as a centerpiece display, or to line laneways
  • Cold Hardy Palm Trees  There are more varieties of cold hardy palm trees than you may think. There are kinds that can withstand below freezing temperatures and snow.

I'm Darla the creator of Palm Tree Passion.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit.

Creator of Palm Tree PassionDarla

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