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Palm Tree Leaves


Palm tree leaves vary greatly in their size shape and texture.

They are a work of art!

Not only do they look great but they also have many productive uses.

New Leaf Growth

It seems that all palm trees grow their leaves in roughly the same way.

A new leaf starting to appear, will show up like a big stick shape coming from the center of the other leaves. This area is called the crown. 

It is also called the bud or heart of the palm.

The “stick”, which is the center vein or stock of the leaf will be quite tall and pointy until the leaf has grown to its full size inside.

New Feather Palm Tree Leaf Still a Stck

Then it simply unrolls itself to produce one full size leaf.

Once it decides it’s ready to unroll, it can take a day or a week to see the new full size leaf. It all depends on the variety.

Banana trees unroll their leaves in the same way.

Types of Palm Tree Leaves

New Banana Plant Leaf in Stick Shape

Let’s discuss the different types of leaves there are.

Of course there is the travelers palm whose leaves look more like the leaf of a banana tree.

They are very wide, long and are solid until the wind comes along and rips them into strips.

They are unique because they are the only "palm" I’ve found with this shape of leaf, but they really aren't a member of the same tree family at all.

New Travelers Palm Tree Leaf Newly Unrolled

Brand new leaf of a travelers palm that has just unrolled itself.

You can still see the bit of a roll at the bottom.

You can also see that the leaf stock has to grow some more to eventually become as tall as the other leaves.

Also notice the color difference between the new leaf and the older ones.

Feather Palm Leaves

Feather Like Palm Tree Leaves.

Next we see what you’d call the standard palm leaf; long and feathery shaped.

More kinds of palms have this shape than any other.

They would include, the queen,the various types of date, the Christmas tree palm, the royal  and coconut palms to name a few.

But there are others like the sago and fishtail palm.

They are the same idea but different in their presentation and overall look.


Fishtail Palm Tree Leaves
Long Thin Palm Tree Leaves

Fan Palm Leaves

Circular Fan PalmTree Leaf

Ruffled Fan Palm Tree Leaf

The last group of palm tree leaves are unusual compared to the others.

They are the almighty and beautiful fan shaped.

This group includes the sabal and palmetto families, the Bismarck, California fan  and Chinese fan. Again- just to name a few.

Some people call all palms with this type of leaf- fan or windmill palms. Fan would be a better description.

There is an actual windmill palm or at least that's the common name.

The leaves on a palm tree play a very important role for the tree.

They collect nutrients and moisture out of the air.

The leaves turn totally brown once the tree is finished with it and not until then, unless it is hit by disease.

Some palms shed their dead leaves on their own while others don't and could have dead leaves hang on for many years.

An example of trees that can accumulate many years of dead leaves that form what is commonly called a "skirt" is the California fan palm.

Beautiful Fan Palm Tree Leaves
Bismarck Palm Tree Leaf
Hut Made from Palm Tree Leaves

Palm tree leaves have many different uses.

Both fan and feather kinds made into shelters or roofs. When they are utilized this way it they are called thatch... thatch roof

Coconut and royal of the feather.

Thatch palms and even the Puerto Rican hat palm are used for roofs but the later is used more for the making of fine quality "straw" hats. Thus its name.

The great leaves of the Canary Island date palm are harvested by fishermen in some cultures to assist in their trade.

Typically the harvest of leaves occurs in the months of August all around various areas of the Middle East.

They are also utilized in the making of  brooms and making wax or oil.

 That just names a few.

No matter which palm tree leaves you look at, they are all visually stunning.

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Other articles you may find useful:

Palm tree trunks and fruit discusses the different kinds of each with pictures and what they are used for.

There are many uses for all the various parts of the palm. I'll bet there's something they are used for you didn't know.

Types of palms has a complete list while the small, large and cold-hardy list the trees in each category.

Indoor palms has the list of the easiest to grow in your home or office year round.

Background digs into the history of palm trees. How long do you think they have been around?

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