Palm Trees – Part 3

Today we had planned to ride our bikes up to the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park but the winds put that plan on hold.

It was hard even walking around the park this morning!

So we are back to identifying the palm trees 🙂

Photo taken outside entrance to Cocopah RV Park in Yuma, Arizona.

The True Date Palm has a single broad, grey trunk covered with ornamental diamond-shaped pattern of leaf scars. The tree has 100-120 large fronds, which form a thick canopy up to 30 feet wide. The True Date Palm produces white or yellow flowers that grow in clusters supported by 4-foot long inflorescence. True Date Palm is dioecious, male and female flowers are born on separate plants. Male flowers are white and female flowers are cream and yellow. Only female plants produce dates and only if a male tree is nearby. Edible fruit, called ‘dates’ that grow in clusters among the leaves, follows the flowers. The True Date Palms bears fruit at approximately 8 years of age. Green dates turn orange red or dark-brown, depending on variety, as they ripe.  Dates are an important source of food for people in the Asia, Africa, South America, and Middle East. Sometimes dates are used to produce ice-cream, syrups, vinegars and alcohol drinks. Seeds are used to make soaps and cosmetics.

Palm trees in need of trimming.

After reading yesterday’s blog my sister came across an article from a Las Vegas newspaper describing how a tree trimmer had died while trimming a palm tree on January 12, 2015. The article went on to state that in 2014 the California Department of Public Health put out a warning about the dangers to tree trimmers when pruning palm trees. Many landscapers climb under the branches to trim away the dead fronds and since palm branches are all interwoven all it takes is one cut to bring down a whole skirt of branches.

A palm tree branch can exert 100 pounds of pressure per square foot, which means the weight of collapsed fronds can suffocate tree trimmers. I still think palm trees are very pretty but I sure have a lot of respect for the landscapers that keep them in good shape! I hope their public health warning encourages landscapers to trim palm fronds from above rather than climbing underneath the dead branches.

Until next time …

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