King of the Desert Trees
Palm trees are the fundamental part of the tradition and characteristics of the Middle Eastern society. You will never see any images of the Middle East without a connection being made between palm trees and the Middle East. The physical characteristic of a palm tree is what attracts most expat homeowners here in Dubai to have it as a part of their landscape. Besides the visual treat, the palm tree has one main attribute that makes it a permanent member of your landscape – it produces tasty edible dates. Dates have been part of the Arabian culture for centuries and it carries many health benefits while the long green branches of a date palm tree offer perfect shades in the day and create beautiful environments at night with night spotlights bouncing off it.
Before you go and order your palm Tree, let’s understand the varieties of palm trees available here in the United Arab Emirates, their planting medium and how to maintain it. When purchasing a palm tree you should ask for the following: the height of the trunk and what is the species of the palm tree. Species available in the United Arab Emirates are Dabbas, Khunaizi, Bu Ma’an, Khalas, Al Farad and Al Nekhba. The only palm tree that bears fruit is the female gender and there is no way for anyone to tell that your palm tree gender will be a female. The most common palm trees you see in residences throughout the UAE are Al Farad and Al Nekhba species. We always advise our clients not to buy a palm tree with more than a 3 meter clear trunk span. This ensures that your palm tree is not too expensive because the longer the tree trunk, the higher the price will be. Since there is always a chance of a new palm tree not surviving the transition phase of extracting it from the ground at the date farm and planting it into your garden, it is safe to go with palm tree that’s not too mature. Don’t be discouraged – the mortality rate of a date palm tree is very high.
Once your palm tree is planted, the first month you need to water it extensively. The trunk needs water for the roots to grow and water is the only source that will assist the root ball to grow and adapt to the soil. Your new palm tree should come with the branches of the palm tree tied with a cloth and you should not untie the palm leaves for about a month. After a month of extensive watering daily you would see a green branch shoot up from inside the tied palm leaves. This is a sign that the root has adapted to the soil and your palm tree is well on its way to being a permanent member of your beautiful landscape.
You should have a professional maintenance company to properly propagate your palm tree to protect it from Red Palm Weevil, Dobas insect, Al Hamirah, and stem and stalk borers. Horticultural engineers from your maintenance company should study and place pheromone traps filled with water and pheromone between the trees to attract, trap and drown these insects, to further reduce pest infestation of weevils insect and the beetle, which makes holes in the tree trunks that provide entry points for the weevils. Your maintenance company should treat you palm tree with pesticide and fumigation if needed.