- Canary Island Date Palm Tree
- Phoenix Canarienses: Pineapple Palm – Canary Island Date Palm
- Canary Island Date Palm
- ( Phoenix Canariensis )
- Canary Island Date Palm Origins:
- Canary Island Date Palm Preferred Exposure:
- Canary Island Date Palm Fronds | Trunk:
- Canary Island Date Palm Soil Preference / Salt tolerance:
- Canary Island Date Palm Size Variance:
- Canary Island Date Palm Growth Habit:
- Canary Island Date Palm Growth Rate:
- Canary Island Date Palm Bloom:
- Canary Island Date Palm Water Requirements:
- Best Uses For Canary Island Date Palm in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine landscape:
- Care of Phoenix Canariensis / Canary Island Date Palms:
- Phoenix canariensis
- Canary Island Date Palm-King of the Dates
- Pruning Canary Island Date Palms
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Canary Island Date Palm Tree
Phoenix Canarienses: Pineapple Palm – Canary Island Date Palm
Buy Canary Island Palm Trees for Added Decoration and Natural Ambience
With deforestation increasing at a rapid pace as a hazard to environmental degradation, it has become paramount to preserve the environment from such threats. The need to grow plants and trees around your commercial or residential settings arises, when it comes to decorating exteriors. The proven benefits of tree plantation practices are enormous. It creates a relaxing, peaceful and a natural ambience where you can spend some quality time, soaking up the soft filtered sunlight. A variety of ornamental trees are available in the market today, but you can choose Canary island palm. Planting these trees will make you feel as if being in a tropical or subtropical region.
Along with the farming and gardening, horticulture practices have also gone through various phases of evolution. You must have seen various species of palm trees around the poolside area, entrance of grand hotels, farmhouse, residential apartments, commercial establishments and along the private driveways. The intended purpose of planting these trees is to make the surroundings naturally beautiful and lively. Moreover, palms are planted in public or private gardens and at the beachfront properties for added decoration and relaxation. You can buy Canary palm trees Tampa, Florida at market leading prices. Timely watering and proper fertilization are very important for their survival.
For more information on the purchase of an Canary Palm Tree, feel free to give us a call at the farm and we’d be happy to help. Don’t forget we do offer delivery and installation services throughout the State of Florida. Hardy Palm Trees is family owned and operated, located in Plant City, Florida. or checkout securely right here on our website. Thank you for your interest!
Highly prized for their elegant beauty Canary Island Date Palms are so beautiful and alluring that you can use them just about anywhere on site! Thick heavy caliper trunk with large nut at the top. Dark green foliage, huge canopy. Available in matching sizes from 6′ to 25′ of clear trunk. Groundworks has in stock, ready for immediate pick up, the largest selection of P. Canariensis in the Southeastern United States.
Phoenix Canariensis has been utilized as a theme generating focal point in landscapes worldwide for decades. Its majesty and substantial presence make the Canary Island Date Palm a powerful choice where you a looking to bring natural maturity to a site. Utilized in rows or as a freestanding centerpiece, there really aren’t many locations on site where you cannot use Canariensis successfully. Probably the best adjective that one could use to describe Canariensis is Stunning. If you get through the establishment period sane, and provided you maintain it with reasonable diligence, your Canary will probably outlive you and will be a truly stunning addition to the family.
Mature Canary Island Date Palms are rarely found in nurseries. These unique specimens are collected from existing landscapes throughout the warmer regions of the United States. Because they are collected palms, obtaining exactly matching Canaries is not a realistic goal. We can come fairly close but for applications where an exact match is a necessity, you may want to consider changing the spec to either the Medjool or the Zahidi Date Palm. Medjools and Zahidis are nursery produced and so can be matched far more closely.
We Love Our Palms
Mature Canariensis are often decades & decades old when transplanted for resale. Because of the time frame necessary to reach these larger sizes, this inventory just isn’t available in traditional nursery settings. The palms are field located from existing landscapes and then resold for use in new landscape designs. Many companies that sell these majestic palms harvest them from the ground they grew in for all those years and then deliver them directly to a new site. This method is far less expensive for the supplier to undertake than the harvesting & nurturing regimens that our inventories undergo. This kind of “direct delivery” supplier does not have any losses, no costs associated to holding and caring for the inventory and no costs associated to the many risks of transplant; all of those cost variables are passed to the client. We love the palms far too much to operate in this fashion.
Canariensis in Holding
The commitment we make requires that we harvest the palms and then hold them in one of our secure nurturing areas for many months. All totaled we have more than 200 mature Canariensis undergoing various stages of nurturing on any given day and we provide targeted intensive care during the initial shock period working continuously to reestablish a healthy new root system. Once the initial move has been successfully accomplished, the palms can be more safely relocated onto a customer’s site where a reasonable degree of care will engender prompt establishment. When you purchase a Canary Island Date palm from Groundworks, every possible precaution has been taken, the finest professional care in the industry has been rendered and the palms are well prepared for transplant into their new homes. Where losses on site do occur, your Groundworks one year limited warranty will insure that the palm is promptly replaced. No nonsense, no crying.
If you are a lover of mature palms and are thinking “Canary”, you have come to the right place. We invite you to come by and visit us in Boynton Beach Florida or Houston (Alvin) Texas. We will show you a collection of specimen palms that is unrivaled anywhere in the Southern United States. We are confident that the perfect palm for you is here right now and we would be pleased to make the introduction.
Cold Tolerance: Zones 8a-11
Drought Tolerance: High
Salt Tolerance: Med
Light Requirements: High
Wind Tolerance: Med to High
Soil Requirements: Adaptable
Moisture Tolerance: High
Nutritional Req.: Moderate
Loss rate during first 90 days after transplant: 35%
Loss rate during first 12 months on site but after first 90 days: 10%
Dense heavy canopies of green to dark green fronds with a thick, pineapple like nut comprised of cut frond stems just under the fronds. Very heavy caliper trunk, usually 28 inches plus. Trunks are semi smooth and display a distinct diamond shape pattern.
Aerial roots are often found on the lower two feet of trunk. Canary Island Dates have been known to reach heights of 60 feet of clear trunk but they are very, very slow growers.
Selection and Availability
Groundworks stocks a large selection of Phoenix Canariensis at our Boynton Beach Florida and Houston Texas facilities. Because these majestic beauties are collected from residential neighborhoods all over Florida and the Southwest, we really cannot “order” specific sizes. The best that we can do is to locate them, buy them in, stock them and then make them available for your review and selection.
If you have a need for matching palms that are not in holding we can help you but need time to do our job so advance notice is a must. Please contact a sales rep for more information on advance notice requirements.
Canary Island Date Palm
( Phoenix Canariensis )
Canary Island Date Palm Origins:
– Phoenix Canariensis is native to the Canary Islands of North Eastern Africa and is widely cultivated as an ornamental palm in the North Florida area.
Canary Island Date Palm Preferred Exposure:
– Full sun is preferable in the North Florida landscape.
Canary Island Date Palm Fronds | Trunk:
– Foliage of the Canary Island Date Palm remains evergreen through the winter in the North Florida landscape and sustain no winter damage.
– One of the most decorative of all the Phoenix family of palms, the Canary Island Date Palm has a large stately head that reaches as much as 30 ft from left to right when mature. The fronds extending from the crown of the trunk may be 8 -15 ft in length and are very numerous, long fronds tend to arch gently towards the tips and have a graceful appearance.
– Long needle like thorns towards the base of the fronds closest to the trunk.
– Trunks of the Canary Island Date Palm may eventually reach 50 ft in height and 4 ft in diameter, although with their slow growth, this may take quite a while.
– Old leaf fronds are removed completely from the trunk on the lowest portion of the palm and left at the top near the foliage, they are then trimmed on an angle to expose the diamond shape of the individual palm fronds. These fronds closest to the crown of the tree are cut at a distance of 1-2 ft from the trunk ( just below the last set of need like thorns) and pruned into a round shape giving the palm a “Pineapple” appearance. When properly pruned, these trees are a stunning landscape statement.
Canary Island Date Palm Soil Preference / Salt tolerance:
– Canary Island Date Palms planted in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine landscape will tolerate virtually any soil components, providing they are planted into well drained soils.
– Do not plant Phoenix Canariensis into water logged soils
– Salt tolerance is moderately high and Phoenix Canariensis palms may be planted on the street side of ocean front properties
Canary Island Date Palm Size Variance:
– Phoenix Canariensis palms can reach sizes of 50-60 feet H | and spreading 16-30 feet in width.
Canary Island Date Palm Growth Habit:
– Canary Island Date Palm has a broad spreading tree and although slow to develop any trunk height these trees quickly develop 8-15 ft long fronds. Give them plenty of room in the landscape for their foliage to spread.
Canary Island Date Palm Growth Rate:
– Like much of the Phoenix family of palms, Phoenix Canariensis palms are extremely slow growing and may develop only 3-6 inches of trunk each growing season.
– Fronds develop length quickly and within 3-5 years after being planted from the average 30 gallon palm you can expect your trunk to have a 2 ft by 2 ft pineapple and fronds 15 ft across from left to right.
Canary Island Date Palm Bloom:
– White clusters give way to yellow – orange fruits.
Canary Island Date Palm Water Requirements:
– Drought tolerant once established into the landscape. Take care to water well for the first few months after being planted from and S & J Nursery container into the landcape.
Best Uses For Canary Island Date Palm in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine landscape:
– Canary Island Date Palm is an excellent choice for a landscape statement for larger yards and commercial buildings where their huge highly decorative heads can be fully appreciated.
Care of Phoenix Canariensis / Canary Island Date Palms:
– Canary Island Date Palms will need good water during the establishment period and are drought tolerant once established into the landscape.
– Trim back damaged or older browned out fronds each year as needed at the base of the stem to keep the plant at its best. Be sure to prune just past the last set of needle like thorns, removing those thorns when pruning older fronds helps keep the trunk size uniform on all sides and much safer to be working around!
MINIMUM PALM FERTILIZER REGIMEN – what you should be doing to keep your palm healthy
– Fertilize each spring with a specially blended fertilizer for Palms, follow manufacturers directions and apply 1/2 lb o 1lb of fertilizer per inch of diameter of trunk on your palm, measured from a hands width above the ground level. That means for a 12 inch wide trunk from left to right you would need 6-12 lbs of fertilizer for just that one palm!
– Fertilize every fall with magnesium sulfate ( Epsom Salt) to keep your palm green and healthy through the winter months!
MAXIMUM PALM FERTILIZER REGIMEN – what you can do to get your palm up and growing Fast!
– Fertilize every three months with your choice of Palm fertilizer and Magnesium Sulfate. Water 3-4 times per week and make sure to water thoroughly after each fertilizer application.
– Wait till fronds have turned completely brown before removing from the palm as the palm will take back in the nutrients from those older leaves ad use it when forming new ones.
*CAUTION – DO NOT FERTILIZE NEWLY PLANTED / TRANSPLANTED
FIELD GROWN PALM TREES WITH PALM FOOD!
Note : When planting smaller palms being grown in a container, this rule does not apply, rather, use half the recommended application rate for your trunks diameter, as containered palms roots have not been damaged or cut during planting but are still only a portion as large as they would be if the palm had been growing in the ground and excess fertilizer on a confined root system is still not preferable for maximum health.
Palm fertilizers are water soluable and will burn the new roots your palm tree is trying to put out as it establishes itself into the landscape. It is best to use only poly coated plant food that is heat release like Osmocote general purpose fertilizer or non burning Milorganite in the first year in the landcape, and then the following year, start your palm food regimen that will provide all of the minor nutrients that your palms will need to keep them healthy and problem free in Florida’s soils.
– Click here for more information on Canary Island Date Palm in the North Florida landscape
from the Jacksonville Zoo and gardens
– From UFIFAS Phoenix Canariensis / Canary Island Date Palm
for the North Florida,| Jacksonville and St. Augustine’s area landscapes.
Check out these other great Palm Selections at
North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine areas
S & J Tree Farm and Nursery
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SPECIALIZING IN SPECIMEN SIZE PALMS
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Washingtonia “Mexican Fans “
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15ft plus trunks call
14ft trunks call
12-13ft tr call
8 ft trunks $965.00
7ft trunks $675.00
5 ft trunks $495.00
4 ft trunks $395.00
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8 ft trunks $2125.00
7 ft trunks $1925.00
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overall height is
Medjool Date Palm Trees:
2ft trunk $695.00
4ft trunk $2995.00
5ft trunk $3295.00
6ft trunk $3500.00
7ft-8ft trunk $4800.00
overall height is OA
Silver Medjool Date Palms
3ft trunk $995.00
4ft trunk $1795.00
5ft trunk $2195.00
6ft trunk $2495.00
7ft trunk $2795.00
8ft trunk 12′ to 15′ OA $2950.00
PINEAPPLE PALM – A.K.A.
Canary Island Date Palms:
Canary Island Date Palms are
very sensitive to Fusarium Wilt
disease. For a palm that will
grow to 50 ft trunk, you don’t
see that size in Houston because
they die from disease.
Pindo Palm Trees:
15 gallon $375.00
B&B 5-6ft OA $795.00
B&B 7-8ft tall OA $1295.00
B&B 9-10ft tall OA $1995.00
B&B 10 ft plus please call
Pygmy Date Palm” Roebelenii”
15 gallon $150.00
5-6ft single OA $475.00
5-6ft double OA $595.00
Texas Sabals Palm Trees:
3ft trunks $775.00
4-5ft trunks 10-12ft $1295.00
6ft trunks 11-13ft Call for Price
7ft trunks 13-14ft “
8ft trunks 14-16ft “
Surly the largest commonly grown ornamental palm in the world is the Canary Island date palm, Phoenix canariensis. A close relative of the true date palm, P. dactylifera, this species is much more widely grown due to its ability to live in a broad range of climates and soils. Beyond that, this palm is truly stunning as a mature tree.
Phoenix canariensis is a massive palm with a single trunk growing typically up to 20 meters, but vigorous specimens have reached twice that height. The thick trunk is up to nearly a meter across with a wide, bulbous flaring base. It is prominently marked with petiole scars that have a stacked appearance, and is usually light brown in color.
The fronds are pinnate, growing from 4 to 6 meters in length on mature trees. The individual leaflets (called pinnae) are simple and narrow, between 20-40 centimeters long each. The central shaft of the frond, the rachis, widens at its base and is armed with long, sharp spines. The overall appearance of the fronds is like a long feather. A mature specimen can hold a hundred or more fronds at one time, forming a dense, nearly rounded crown up to 10 or more meters across. Like other palms the petiole bases can persist for some time, an attribute particularly noticeable on pruned specimens.
Flowering starts in early spring. The bright orange branched flower scapes are born abundantly, but remain tucked within the the crown even in at full maturity. These palms are dioecious, meaning male and female flowers are found on separate trees. Fruits are ripe by fall or early winter, and though fairly large, are not particularly fleshy, and so do not make a good date for eating. A single large seed is contained in each fruit.
P. canariensis is an endemic of the Canary Islands, a volcanic island chain off the southwest coast of Morocco in the Atlantic Ocean, and though owned by Spain, are largely self governed. This palm is found throughout the main islands, however its distribution is scattered and localized due to centuries of human activity. The largest remaining populations are found on La Gomera. The introduction of exotic Phoenix species (especially P. dactylifera) has put the remaining populations at risk since these palms easily interbreed, creating hybrid trees that can be difficult to distinguish from wild ones.
They can be found in a wide range of habitats, typically in dry subxeric Mediterranean areas and more rarely in wet cloud forests, known locally as laurisilva, consisting of broadleaf subtropical evergreen trees. In some areas P. canariensis is the dominant species, and these communities are known as palmerales. Nowadays these once natural associations are highly influenced by humans who have introduced exotic species or expanded them by planting more palms. This species grows from sea level to around 600 meters elevation in its native habitats. For more about this palm in its native habitat please read this fascinating article from the journal of the International Palm Society: Phoenix canariensis in the wild.
In of spite being from the relatively low elevations of subtropical islands, the Canary Island date palm is remarkably cold hardy. Most sources state large trees can take -10 C (14 F) for brief periods and rebound, though fronds are damaged at much higher temperatures, taking no more than a couple degrees of frost before die-back begins. Nevertheless, consistent reports of them surviving in USDA cold hardiness zone 8 persist, at least in areas where summers are hot. Having said that, as long as the average temperate remains a few degrees above freezing in winter, this species seems to hold on. Reports of specimens growing in cold weather latitudes also abound, for instance the warmest parts of the British Isles (including London), Tasmania, and even the coastal areas of British Columbia, Canada and along the coasts of Washington and Oregon in the US if given protection in winter. On the other hand, it is able to live in truly tropical places as well, making it one of the most temperature resistant palms in cultivation.
While adapted to rich volcanic loams, it is tolerant of a wide range of soils as long as the drainage is good. It is at home in sands and even clay based soils, tolerating moderately acidic to alkaline pH conditions. Once established, trees can withstand both drought and flooding as long as these conditions do not persist too long.
Ideally it is grown in full sun in a deep, well drained loam in a climate with long, hot summers, and frost-free winters. In the southeastern US, for example, it would be best suited to USDA cold hardiness zones 9 and 10, would be marginal in zone 8b, and at risk in zone 8a. Not surprisingly, peninsular Florida is home to many large specimens. In southern Japan it is grown without much effort as well, due to the relatively mild winters, hot summers, and rich volcanic soils.
Propagation is from seed. Fresh seed will germinate within 2 to 3 months at temperatures above 30 C. If grown optimally seedlings can form pinnate leaves within a year or two. Trunk development starts around the fifth year. Young plants grow trunk slower than mature trees, with 30 centimeters of annual trunk growth possible for large, established specimens.
Phoenix canariensis growing in its native habitat can dominate some areas. These associations are known as “palmerales” by the local people. This group is growing in a dry area in a ravine near sea level that no doubt has some subterranean water, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands. Photo courtesy of Kevin Spence.
The Canary Island date palm is often transplanted as a mature tree. Root balls are cut up to a meter away from the trunk and two-thirds of the older fronds are removed to prevent water loss. The remaining fronds are bundled and bound with rope. To protect the trunk, fronds, and apical bud of the crown, wooden splints should be used. Damage to the trunk and especially the apical bud, can lead to the death of the tree. Additionally, newly transplanted trees need support scaffolding until firmly established. It goes without saying, a mature tree can only be handled by professionals with proper equipment – both a crane and large flat bed truck being necessities.
One of the more interesting aspects of this palm is the amount of epiphytic flora one single tree can support. In humid climates it is very common to see the lower crown and adjacent upper trunk festooned with ferns. Nephrolepis sp. (Boston ferns) in particular seem to enjoy this palm as a host, at least in Florida and Japan. In its native islands it is host to a number of endemic plants that are not typically epiphytic – Sonchus species (sow thistles), Aeoniums (succulents), and various ferns. Apparently the petiole bases and fibrous trunk are perfect perches for plant roots, and retain enough water and nutrients to allow their growth.
As with any plant, it has its problems, not the least of which is its truly massive adult size. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen young ones planted right up against house foundations or next to walkways. In both cases they outgrow their designated area in just a few seasons, pushing fronds right up the eves of a building (or though windows!) or completely blocking passage along walkways. Simply put, this is not a tree for small places. Remember that a mature crown can be 10 or more meters across. Also, it takes many years to produce a trunk high enough to walk under. As for small urban lots, even if you have the space, do you really want one tree to dominate your entire yard? In the end, this is a species for open landscapes with room to grow – as a large lawn specimen, in wide parks, and so on.
Phoenix canariensis is also susceptible to nutrient deficiencies, particularly on poor, sandy soils. Potassium deficiency symptoms show as a yellowing of the oldest leaves accompanied by necrotic (dead tissue) spotting. As the condition progresses leaf tips begin to die as well. Since these often break off, the older fronds look quite ragged, while younger fronds can be completely unaffected. This deficiency not surprisingly also shortens the life of older fronds, thus weakening the tree. Magnesium deficiency is seen as a yellowing of the pinnae at the margins while the centers stay green, again, usually effecting older fronds. It is not uncommon for a tree to have both deficiencies at once, with the older leaves dying off prematurely from lack of potassium, the mid-aged fronds showing the yellowing of magnesium deficiency, and the newest fronds looking fine.
The solution is simple – fertilize your trees regularly! In warm summer climates with high rainfall you may need to feed with a high potassium fertilizer up to three times a year (particularly on sandy soils). Be sure to get a fertilizer that has magnesium as well, or you can use epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) alongside your desired fertilizer. Slow release pelletized fertilizers should work quite well. In general, deep rich loam based soils should have enough natural nutrients to keep your palm happy. The removal of old fronds as a “remedy” for these deficiencies in fact weakens the tree even more since you are cutting off stores of nutrients that yet remain in the leaves.
More seriously, P. canariensis is susceptible to various diseases and pests. Many of these are unfortunately fatal. Weevils, particularly in the genus Rhynchophorus, prey on this tree, often with disastrous results. In the southeastern US palmetto weevils (R. cruentatus) burrow into the heart of the palm, which leads to its death. Weevils are attracted to damaged trees, so after pruning or transplanting a tree, it is recommended to treat cut or damaged tissues with insecticide as a prophylactic. Cut petiole bases can also be tarred over. Once a tree is infested however, the only solution is to remove it and destroy it before adult weevils leave the tree and potentially infest nearby palms. The Mediterranean area, Middle East, and north Africa have been progressively infested by the Asian red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, affecting not only this species, but the commercially important date palm, Phoenix dactylifera. Recently it has been detected in the Americas as well, notably in Laguna Beach, California in 2010.
Younger trees tend to be most prone to weevil infestation. Symptoms include the yellowing and wilting of the fronds starting at the center of the crown and progressing downward to the older fronds. Unfortunately, by this time the tree has become completely infested, with death being the most likely result. Systemic insecticides can be tried, but if the damage is too great it isn’t likely to save a tree. A wide variety of novel products have been devised to trap and kill them, and natural fungal controls (Beauveria bassiana for example) are being studied, but truthfully, this bug as got a leg up on the situation.
Another problem for this tree is fusarium wilt caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. canariensis. This fungus isolate is specific to P. canariensis, and unfortunately infected trees are doomed since there is no known chemical or biological control. Symptoms start with a dying of leaflets along one side of the rachis accompanied by a reddish-brown strip. Older fronds die first, creating a skirt of dead fronds. The fungus works its way up the crown to younger fronds until the tree dies.
Luckily, it seems the main reason for transmission of this fungus is through unsterilized pruning equipment. The upshot is that tools used for pruning must be adequately disinfected every time between pruning trees, no exceptions. Fortunately a number of cheap materials can be used to do this, notably household bleach (25% solution for 5 minutes) and rubbing alcohol (50% solution for 5 minutes). Clean solution should be re-made every couple hours if continuous pruning is necessary. Note that if chainsaws are used, then both the complete chain and saw bar need to be disassembled and disinfected between trees. While this may seem extreme, the results of infecting multiple trees can be far worse.
Diseased trees must be removed and either burned or put in a landfill. Every effort should be made to clean up the work site as much as possible of any infected tissue. One should not plant a new P. canariensis in that location since the fungus can continue living in the infected rootmass for as long as it persists. So the best cure for this disease is prevention. Interestingly, petiole/rachis blight, caused by a variety of fungi, has similar symptoms to fusarium wilt, but is non-lethal. The only way to know if it is fusarium is to have infected tissue tested. If the results are negative, the trees don’t need to be removed, and may recover by increasing air circulation, making sure the trees aren’t nutrient stressed, and also by applying broad-spectrum or systemic foliar fungicides. In the end though, managing petiole/rachis blight is an inexact science, but at least the condition is non-lethal.
Canary Island date palms produce an abundance of inflorescences. From what I’ve seen, regardless of the copious seed production, volunteer seedlings are not a serious problem in most situations.
A word about pruning palms in general – don’t overdo it. Too often palms are given such a severe pruning that it is a drag on the tree’s resources. Over pruning can lead to many problems including loss of vigor, reduction in the width of the trunk, and most importantly it can lead to making the tree more susceptible to attack by parasites and fungi. Remember that when you cut living tissue you are opening the palm up to outside diseases. A good rule of thumb is to never remove more than two thirds of the crown at any one time and ideally only dead fronds should be removed. In the case of the Canary Island date palm, severe pruning of the crown to create what’s known as the “pineapple” shape is something to be discouraged, especially if the tree has been recently transplanted. A healthy tree is in the end much more resistant to outside pathogens, so that means growers should aim to maximize overall vigor through adequate watering, fertilizing, and using a sensible pruning regimen.
In summary, this is a fascinating and surprisingly tolerant palm species. If you’d like to give it a go, you’ll need to consider the tree’s special requirements, and evaluate if it is sensible to take a stab at growing one yourself.
Family: Arecaceae Origin: Canary Islands
Technically invasive but somehow is forgiven by many; the Canary Island Date Palm (a close relative of the true Date Palm) is widespread in most tropical and subtropical lands around the world. In some areas, it’s naturalized and stands solitarily, enjoyed in the landscapes and gardens of people around the world. Here in Australia, it’s easily found in cultivation and in the wild. When people around the world think of palm trees in the tropics, they usually picture the Canary Date Palm or something very much like it. This palm is sometimes referred to as a pineapple of sorts, but this is false. Pineapples are much different from palms, most notably with pineapples growing on plants near the ground and not on trees.
A large loner, Phoenix canariensis typically reaches heights of 20 metres in captivity but is found much taller in naturalized areas, sometimes reaching heights of 40 metres. The tree is single trunked with a canopy of leaves at the top as they are shed from the bottom up as the tree grows. The shape of the canopy is round and even. It does not have a crown shaft.
The trunk is thick and light tank to grey, and leaf scars make up its regular notched texture.
Big broom-like panicles loaded with tiny yellow flowers in the summer are scented, sometimes drooping. They are enjoyed by pollinating insects.
The emerald green leaves are pinnate, up to 6 metres long each with up to 200 leaflets on each frond in a single rank on each side. They have long, sharp spines on the leaf base which can cause painful injuries. Although self-cleaning, usually fronds will be removed before expiring completely to improve the appearance of the palm tree. They leave attractive, diamond-shaped leaf scars giving the trunk its distinctive pattern.
The flowers fade to form yellow and orange oval shaped fruit about 20mm long and 10mm wide that contains a single large nut. It’s said that the pulp of the fruit is very edible, but the amount makes them a pretty worthless snack for people. Some animals enjoy the fruit pulp themselves.
Unlike P. dactylifera, the palm used to produce commercial dates, the Canary Island Date Palm doesn’t sucker and can only be propagated by seed. Growth rate is slow.
Relatively hardy for a palm that originates out of temperate areas, Phoenix canariensis can be enjoyed in areas where temperatures reach -12c on occasion. This palm is not picky about soil type either. It does require full sun exposure and well drained medium to grow in. It can tolerate salt spray which makes it a valuable coastal and urban tree in areas where it fits (this is a large palm at maturity).
Plant new trees in areas with full sun exposure all day, and give this little tree plenty of room to grow. Fill the new hole with amendments such as well rotted compost and organic material to give young transplants a good boost. In Brisbane they should be watered regularly until established, but once they are comfortable you can relax on the watering and simply enjoy. The soil can be treated with a 3-1-3 fertilizer.
Watch for seedlings sprouting below the tree after fruiting. Remove these seedlings to help prevent this tree from spreading. Alternatively, repot them while very small for propogating. If not done early they tend to grow away from the parent, causing them to grow skew.
Diseases and Problems
Canary Island Date Palms are susceptible to Fusarium Wilt, a disease caused by Fusarium oxysporum, a fungus. It is always fatal to an infected tree. It has killed several hundred date palms in Centennial Park in Sydney. Infection can be transferred from tree to tree by cutting instruments and contaminated soil.
Like other palms, Canary Island date palms are sensitive to alkaline soils. They also struggle in soils with low nitrogen and zinc.
Canary Island Date Palm-King of the Dates
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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.
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
Pruning Canary Island Date Palms
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.
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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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Palm Tree Passion > Types of Palm Trees > Canary Island Date Palm