15 April 2017

Coconut palms, again

     One thing I started early on with each of the several hundred coconut trees we've planted is pruning. 
     When a young tree has grown its real coconut fronds (see an earlier posting here for the difference) and either the lower fronds begin to 'wilt' or turn brown or I can't walk under them or they're blocking my view in one direction or another...or otherwise just don't look good...I whack those fronds off with a machete - which is what I call pruning coconut trees at False Bluff.
     The most obvious result has been that the trees we've planted have grown upwards really fast. A coconut tree is the ultimate single leader tree and so it has nowhere to go but up, and up they've gone. There are three older, pre-existing trees in the picture below that are much taller than some of our most recently planted baby trees because those tall trees were already at False Bluff when I started this project. (A person in a red shirt close to the sea in the below picture puts distances in perspective.)
     But another seeming benefit of the pruning that other people have begun to notice is the girth of the trunk of the trees we've planted versus the girth of the trunks of those trees that predate our frequent use of a machete.

     Two recent visitors commented on the size difference, pointing out something I hadn't even noticed. So the trees are not only growing taller faster but they're growing bigger around as well. 
     Of course I'm happy the new trees have that girth size benefit because once a coconut tree starts producing coconuts, it doesn't stop: there's no coconut 'season.'      
     A tree can have flowers and two or more different sized clumps of maturing coconuts going all at the same time - year round - so I'm glad of any benefit for a tree that works so hard.
     Below are trees we have planted in the last several years and the difference in the size of the trunk is impossible to miss: the trunk of this recently pruned tree is pretty typical of the trunk size we're seeing on all of the new trees.