They are commonly planted for both residential and commercial use, and may reach a height of 20–30 m. They blossom 6–10 years after planting and mature slowly. They have a lengthy economic life of roughly 60–70 years, while even older palms are known to survive and produce well. When they stop producing fruit, a palmist will be able to tell how long it has left before it dies.
In culture and mythology, the coconut is used in many ways by various cultures throughout the world: for food, oil, fiber, and water. It serves as a symbol of peace and happiness in several languages including English, French, Indonesian, Malay, Portuguese, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
During World War II, the Philippine government encouraged the cultivation of coconut trees because they needed to replace other crops that were destroyed by the war. Today, there are more than 10 million coconut trees in the Philippines, more than any other country.
The life expectancy of a coconut tree is typically between 30 and 50 years, depending on the climate where it is located. However, some species or varieties can live up to 100 years or more.
After about 40 years, the trunk of a coconut tree begins to show signs of stress due to over-grazing by goats and cattle. This can lead to problems with the circulation system of the tree, causing the sap to flow less easily or not at all.
The longevity of a palm tree is totally determined by its kind. Palm trees cultivated in tropical or warm conditions have a life expectancy of 70 to 100 years. Those grown in temperate climates usually live 30 to 50 years.
In nature, palm trees grow rapidly for about 10 years and then more slowly for another 30 to 40 years. They reach their maximum size after 20 years and then start to decline in height until they die around 70 to 100 years old. The lifespan of a palm tree is thus dependent on where it is planted and grows naturally instead of being cultivated.
Palm trees are used as a source of food, oil, and fiber throughout the world. Their fruits are important for food production in regions with long seasons. The oil extracted from the fruit mesocarp is used as fuel and in industry. The inner core of the fruit (radicle) can be used as a stem upon which to grow a new plant. This is called "tapping" the tree and using the sap that flows from the stem to cure your wounds or make leather products.
The most common palm in cultivation is the coconut, which grows in both tropical and warm climates. It has relatively short roots that cannot withstand water logging, so it needs to be planted in well-drained soil.
Older trees are likely to be grown for their fruit rather than their wood.
Younger pineapples can be planted directly in the ground, but most people recommend at least three years before it is used for landscaping. The young plant will need to be at least 1.8 meters (6 feet) tall when fully mature.
It takes about 10 years to grow a pineapple from seed, and during that time the plant will be exposed to frost every year. At the first sign of cold weather, pull up the plant by its roots and bring it inside where it will survive over winter. If you let it go too late, however, the root ball will freeze and damage will occur when it thaws out in spring.
Pineapple plants do not like to be moved once they have been planted, so make sure the site you select is stable enough to accommodate the weight of a frozen root ball.
If you want to keep the plant longer than its expected lifespan, you can either cut it back each season or move it into a larger pot in which case the original soil should be added back into the new location.
The trunk of this huge, single-trunked palm is smooth and columnar, with a light grayish-brown tint. A terminal crown of leaves crowns the trunk. Tall types can grow to be 80–100 feet (24–31 m) tall, and dwarf variants are lesser in stature. The trunk is long and thin, with a bulbous base. It can reach maximum girth of about 18 inches (46 cm), and live trunks over 2 feet (60 cm) in diameter have been reported.
Coconut palms spread by rhizomes, or creeping roots; these root systems can reach a length of 30 feet (9 m). New shoots arise from the basal section of the root system and develop into small seedlings that grow into mature trees. There are two varieties of coconut palm: the oil palm and the fruit palm. The oil palm produces edible nuts while the fruit palm produces fruit used for food and fiber.
Coconuts grown for their meat are called coconuts, not coconuts. Fruits grown for their shells are called coconuts. Meaty coconuts are harvested when they are 90 percent full of milk. They are then cut open, the meat is removed, and the shell is discarded. The remaining milk inside the nut is dried off in the sun before it is sold as coconut milk.
The meat of a meaty coconut is white and very sweet tasting.