Here's some palm tree information you may not know.
Palms are a member of the evergreen group. Why?
They don't lose their leaves in any particular season.
When you think about evergreen, does pine or cypress come to mind?
You are probably used to "evergreen" being any kind of pine tree. If you think about it does make perfect sense.
All palms prefer in either tropical, sub-tropical or desert climates.
Most require the heat but there are a couple of varieties that have adapted to colder temperatures.
Some can even take snow.
Did you know that they are one of the most widely used trees on the planet for many different things.
There are multiple purposes indoors and
Many are used in and plantations for harvesting the fruits they produce.
Lets look at their leaves for a minute. There is a huge variety of sizes, shapes and textures.
They are either shaped like a feather or like a fan with a few variations and exceptions.
Other families of trees have branches and then leaves.
The palm varieties don’t really have branches; It's like their leaves are the branches.
There are a very few occasions when mother nature does something different. Click here to see 2 freaks of nature that did branch. An extreme rarity!
Palms, just like maple and pine trees-have a sort of scar- like the knot in the trunk where a branch has grown.
With palm trees every leaf that falls or is removed leaves a mark in the shape of a circle or semi circle.
On others there is a triangular or diamond looking scar left on the trunk giving it a similar appearance to a pineapple skin.
The biggest difference is that once you peel off the bark off a palm, the wood has no knot or ring imperfections below the bark unless there's a wound.
When you saw through the trunk there aren't any growth rings either.
Some more palm tree information that I can speak about are the seeds and/or fruit of the various varieties. Check out the page on starting a palm from seed here.
The coconut tree is a great example of seeds a palm tree produces. You would think of it as fruit and not a seed, but if you took a coconut to the edge of the beach and planted it, a new tree would soon start to grow.
Some friends did exactly that in Barbados. When they first bought their vacation home there weren’t any palm trees by the beach at all.
Over a couple of years they grabbed some fallen coconuts from around the area and planted them.
It’s been quite a few years now, but now there are at least 50 coconut trees near or on the beach giving the visitors some much needed shade.
A couple of other great, well know fruit producers are the date palm and the Pindo or jelly palm.
There are even more health food products than you probably even knew about come from palm trees.
Unlike the pines and maples, the palm tree has roots that aren’t very deep.
They don’t spread very far until they are quite old and large.
Some never do get big root balls making them some kinds easy to move or transplant even when they are full grown.
A great favorite is the royal palm its roots won't punch through concrete to damage sidewalks or roadways.
Communities in the Caribbean use them often to line the streets.
They are highly flexible in the trunk, and the
leaves might be big but they allow tons of wind to go thru them. ( I think the coconut variety is the king of flexibility.)
This helps the roots stay planted firmly in the ground.
There are very different than pines or maples that will uproot in hurricane force winds.
Notice how the trunks are bowed? These coconut palms are not very straight side to side or up and down.
See the large tangle of roots?
They don't stretch out very far or deep but there are a lot of them and they have the same flexibility as the trunks do-but with a whole lot of griping power.
Palm roots after a tsunami. Trees might be gone but the roots are still holding.
There are even some members of the palm tree family that have subterranean trunk. All that sticks up out of the ground are the stems and leaves. The bush or scrub palms are generally in this category.
Some are classed as vines, like the group of rattan palms. Yes it is what real rattan furniture is made from.