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Niu

Cocos nucifera NUT above 1000ft?

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Niu

Hello, PalmTalk!

I'll soon have a place to finally grow my coconut trees. :D However, I read somewhere that the cocos nucifera will not really produce nuts at 1000 ft. elevation--my property is exactly at 1000 ft.! So I drove around the neighborhood and did see some cocos trees, but no nuts. I spoke with one of my neighbors who said that she gets nuts, but they don't amount to much of anything. I AM SOOOOO BUMMED! I love coconuts and was looking forward to growing groves on my 1.5 acres. Do you know if there are ways to make a microclimate so that the cocos will produce quality nuts? Do you know if they can, if fact, produce coconuts at 1000 ft.? I guess I'm just in denial.

p.s. I live on the windward side of the Big Island of Hawaii.

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brodklop

Maybe extra feed will help produce. This happens here in the sub tropics. Trees that are well fed and watered produce bumper crops but those neglected don't produce. Whereas trees further north produce if they are fed or not.

However we do have the benefit of a hot summer which you may not get at 1000ft.

Good luck

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Niu

Hi Brodklop,

Thank you for your reply! I will take your advice to feed and nurture my cocos.

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Moose

Brod is spot on. Its a temperature issue rather than elevation. Full sun is also imperative, shaded coconuts don't usually produce drupes either ...

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Tropicgardener

Seen them producing fruit up on the Atherton Tablelands at well above 1000ft altitude so you shouldn't have any worries there.

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bgl

Hi Niu,

And welcome to PalmTalk! Always great to see another Big Island palm enthusiast here! I am in Leilani Estates, where elevation ranges from 700 to 1000 ft and it's a hit and miss proposition. Most coconut palms here in the subdivision do not have fruit on them. And it's not that they will all stop at a specific elevation. This is a very gradual thing but the amount of viable fruit that is being produced by X number of coconut palms WILL decrease as the elevation gets above 700-800 or so. At which point they completely stop producing - I don't know but probably just over 1,000 ft would be my guess. Good luck with yours!

Aloha,

Bo-Göran

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sarasota alex

Pretty sure I saw plenty in Costa Rica with fruit above that elevation.

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bgl

Pretty sure I saw plenty in Costa Rica with fruit above that elevation.

Costa Rica is closer to the equator than the Big Island, which makes a BIG difference. Can't compare the two.

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Brahea Axel

I saw plenty of healthy coconuts in Makawao (1,600 feet elevation) in upcountry Maui last Wednesday, those were so lush and healthy they had to be fruiting, but honestly I didn't pay attention. Heck, they had coconuts all the way up to 3,000 feet, but those were definitely not fruiting, just barely alive mostly due to lack of rain on that side of Maui.

If you want to be sure, just call one of the nurseries in Makawao, they'll tell you if they fruit up there or not. if they do, they will surely fruit on the Hilo side of the Big Island. Try East West Gardens in Makawao, (808) 572-4039, they'll tell you.

Edited by worldsight

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Niu

Hi everyone,

Thanks for the advice and insights. I'll let you know in about 5-8 years how it went. :rolleyes:

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Kim

We always encourage people to experiment, so... Why not plant a grove in the sunniest, most wind-protected part of your garden, and feed heavily? I've read all sorts of theories about seawater, planting in sand, placing black rock or paving with asphalt around the palm to reflect heat, and so on. Do some searches here and you'll find all kinds of crazy schemes. :) Or, if escrow hasn't closed yet, cancel and find acreage down lower. The disadvantage of lower acreage is less rainfall. The only way to "have it all" is to own one of those slices of land that goes from the top of the volcano to the ocean. :)

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Niu

Hi Kim,

If only I had enough $$ for my own ahupua'a! :winkie: Thanks for the encouragement. I'm going to do it and see what happens. I'm researching how to create different microclimates with suntraps and windbreaks...we'll see how that goes. I wonder if black cinder would be a good substitute for asphalt. I guess I can welcome global warming for very selfish reasons now. :bemused:

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Mandrew968

Pretty sure I saw plenty in Costa Rica with fruit above that elevation.

Costa Rica is closer to the equator than the Big Island, which makes a BIG difference. Can't compare the two.

But it would answer the question, Bo...

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bgl

Pretty sure I saw plenty in Costa Rica with fruit above that elevation.

Costa Rica is closer to the equator than the Big Island, which makes a BIG difference. Can't compare the two.

But it would answer the question, Bo...

Not really. Conditions on the windward side of the Big Island are quite different from Costa Rica. Rainfall and amount of cloud cover (=heat or no heat) - in all likelihood quite different. 1,000 ft elevation in one place cannot compare with the same elevation elsewhere.

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Mandrew968

Pretty sure I saw plenty in Costa Rica with fruit above that elevation.

Costa Rica is closer to the equator than the Big Island, which makes a BIG difference. Can't compare the two.

But it would answer the question, Bo...

Not really. Conditions on the windward side of the Big Island are quite different from Costa Rica. Rainfall and amount of cloud cover (=heat or no heat) - all different. 1,000 ft elevation in one place cannot compare with the same elevation elsewhere.

I'm sorry--I thought the question was 'does Cocos nucifera fruit above 1000ft elevation?'...

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bgl

Yes, - on the windward side of the Big Island! If it's fruiting at 1,000 ft elevation elsewhere is obviously irrelevant to Niu. She is curious about the palms SHE has planted, or will plant, not about someone else's palms half a world away!

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Mandrew968

Yes, - on the windward side of the Big Island! If it's fruiting at 1,000 ft elevation elsewhere is obviously irrelevant to Niu. She is curious about the palms SHE has planted, or will plant, not about someone else's palms half a world away!

Well, if that's the case, then coconuts are irrelevant--Let's be good snarkless Palmtalkers and advise she plant Dictyocaryum lamarckianum instead.

"If it's fruiting at 1,000 ft elevation elsewhere is obviously irrelevant to Niu." I don't think it is, as this was a question in general. Now, having answered the question, in more ways than one, let's inform her that she is in a prime place to grow palms. Growing coconuts are not necessarily taking advantage of her surroundings.

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bgl

Coconuts are obviously not irrelevant since that's SPECIFICALLY what Niu is asking about. Not any other palm. If you read her very first post that should be very clear to anyone. Next time, pay attention!

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Mandrew968

Bo, how many coconuts do you have in your new palm paradise?

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bgl

Andrew,

I don't need to plant any coconuts in my own garden. They are all over the place here, including a couple right across the street. They don't need to be in my garden in order for me to enjoy them. Not sure what the relevance is to this topic, though.

Bo-Göran

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Jastin

Hello, PalmTalk!

I'll soon have a place to finally grow my coconut trees. :D However, I read somewhere that the cocos nucifera will not really produce nuts at 1000 ft. elevation--my property is exactly at 1000 ft.! So I drove around the neighborhood and did see some cocos trees, but no nuts. I spoke with one of my neighbors who said that she gets nuts, but they don't amount to much of anything. I AM SOOOOO BUMMED! I love coconuts and was looking forward to growing groves on my 1.5 acres. Do you know if there are ways to make a microclimate so that the cocos will produce quality nuts? Do you know if they can, if fact, produce coconuts at 1000 ft.? I guess I'm just in denial.

p.s. I live on the windward side of the Big Island of Hawaii.

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nick

what's about the variety if it is a criterion that some are successful with nuts in similar circumstances and others not?

Edited by nick

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stygiana

what's about the variety if it is a criterion that some are successful with nuts in similar circumstances and others not?

Good point!

I'm sure it can also make a lot of difference.

On top of the comments above (I can only agree: you can have fruits at higher elevation on the leeward side, etc), as Niu seems to be on the windward side and would like to have nuts at 1000 ft, we have to focus on her special case.

Besides the microclimate (full sun, reflected heat, thanks to pavement, lava rocks, etc) cultivars are another thing to think about!

In the SW Pacific (Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, etc), they have hundreds of cultivars, selected and grown for centuries if not thousand of years. Some tribes succesfully grow coconuts far inland, in chilly valley at quite high elevation.

But now is the big issue: How and where could we find these cultivars (note I'm first in line!!! B) ).

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Brahea Axel

People always want to grow what they can't or what is unusual and rare, not what is everywhere. i don't grow canary date palms and California fan palms because they are everywhere. I did plant a queen though, only because Cosco sold a giant 30 gallon one for $40. But I find these palms completely un-interesting in my own garden even though I love to see them everywhere else. If I lived in Hawaii full time, planting a coconut or African Tulip tree would probably be un-interesting after living there for a few years. Yet here in California I am trying to grow all sorts of things that look coconutty. Is that nuts or what?

Let me tell you, after five years on the island, you will be craving some fresh garden grown apples, peaches and so on. Above 1,000 feet elevation, it's possible to grow a few of those, and they are super exotic in Hawaii. :)

Now to answer the question about Costa Rica. 1000-2000 feet elevation on the windward side of the Hawaiian islands is equivalent to 4,000-5,000 feet in Costa Rica. You can compare the temperatures in San Jose, Costa Rica with those in Hawaii at that elevation. You will find a lot of similarities. 1,000 feet in both East and West side of Costa Rica is warmer even than sea level in Hawaii not because of the latitude, but because of the ocean water temperatures.

There's a reason you can grow cherimoyas at the 1,000 feet in windward Hawaii and apples at 3,000 feet elevation, it's simply called cold water by tropical standards. Water temps off Hilo are between 72 and 75F. That's comparable to San Diego late Summer. See http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/dsdt/cwtg/hawaii.html.

Compare that to Tamarindo, which is the cooler side of Costa Rica. The Atlantic is far warmer.

Tamarindo.png

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Donald Sanders

I have been living at approx' 1550', on the Kona side of the Big Island for 24 years. Coconuts, still are one of my favorites and I note them everywhere here. I am constantly amazed at where I see coconuts growing here. I've seem them laden with fruit at altitudes as high as 2000'. Drive up Poi Factory road in Keahou and you will agree with me. I have only about 14 coconuts in my garden. At least half I collected sprouted in Kapoho, of those, several are heavy producers yet others from the same place produce few inferior nuts. I have a beautiful coconut in full sun, all day heat, 20 years old, never flowered. Bottom line, at cooler elevations here, up to at least 1500' to say 1800', it is hit and miss. Coconuts only germinate for me if I put them in the sun. They never sprout in the shade. I think that the trees produce more fruit at this elevation than say the Hilo side, is because we get more afternoon heat as the sun sets over the ocean. An interesting note about the climate here. We brag that because of the cloud cover we get mid day here(coffee country), many palm trees that require shade in other places, up here are fine in full sun. This past winter has been so hot and dry for us. No cloud cover here over three months, no rain to speak of in 7 months. We are frying in the hot dry Kona sun and for me the biggest challenge I face with coconuts it keeping them wet.

There are unlimited amounts of sprouted coconuts in the miles and miles of coastline lined with naturalized coconuts in the Puna district. You have the luxury to experiment and plant them many places. Don't worry, at 1000', if you plant several trees, I promise that it won't be long until you are enjoying the sweet water and delicious fruits from at least one of your trees.

Good luck. Give a call and come visit sometime when you get to Kona.

Aloha, Don

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DoomsDave

Niu:

Welcome!

As you can see, we are green with envy, and full of support.

Just for fun, if you have the room, you may want to do an experiment: Test different varieties of coconuts and see which, if any will produce where you are.

In any case, let us know what happens. We'll all be cooing . . .

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aussiearoids

Try and select nuts from palms with lots of big nuts .

Also it is advisable to dig a massive hole for planting 1m x 1m x 50 cms deep .

And add as much organic material as you can .

Do not fill the hole all the way up when planting , this well will help palm establish .

Dwarf cultivars would be really worth hunting out .

Mine has several flowers and should have nuts soon .

Even after being blown over by cyclone 2 years ago .

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Mandrew968

Andrew,

I don't need to plant any coconuts in my own garden. They are all over the place here, including a couple right across the street. They don't need to be in my garden in order for me to enjoy them. Not sure what the relevance is to this topic, though.

Bo-Göran

That was EXACTLY my point. When I was first getting into palms, I planted palms, I later changed my mind on. Fortunately I never planted any coconuts--my point is that if you live in HAWAII, you should grow better things--exclusive things that others can only dream about. Rather than just answer a newbie's question, I am actually trying to inform her of her enormous possibilities! Forgive me for that, Mr. Bo...

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bgl

I know that was your point, but you're the one who is is missing the point. Which is that this forum is all about answering questions. If someone is asking about growing coconut palms, then to tell them that they should grow Dictyocaryum lamarckianum instead is presumptious and arrogant and certainly not helpful. Just because you and I and many others here on the forum are interested in growing unusual palms does not mean that everyone who finds PalmTalk will end up with a similar interest. Some might but many won't. And we don't tell people what they "should" do - that's for them to decide. If and when they are ready to do so. And who is to decide what's "better"? Better to you, but maybe not to Niu. At least not now. PalmTalk is all about education, which is one of the two main missions of the IPS (the other is scientific research), but the "education" that's provided here is all voluntary. Those who want it will seek it out on their own and at their own pace.

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Mandrew968

I know that was your point, but you're the one who is is missing the point. Which is that this forum is all about answering questions. If someone is asking about growing coconut palms, then to tell them that they should grow Dictyocaryum lamarckianum instead is presumptious and arrogant and certainly not helpful. Just because you and I and many others here on the forum are interested in growing unusual palms does not mean that everyone who finds PalmTalk will end up with a similar interest. Some might but many won't. And we don't tell people what they "should" do - that's for them to decide. If and when they are ready to do so. And who is to decide what's "better"? Better to you, but maybe not to Niu. At least not now. PalmTalk is all about education, which is one of the two main missions of the IPS (the other is scientific research), but the "education" that's provided here is all voluntary. Those who want it will seek it out on their own and at their own pace.

I was on the fence about you, Bo--but now I really like you! ;)

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bgl

You're getting more and more off topic! Let's get back on track and if anyone else has any good answers for Niu, let's post them here. Worldsight and Donald added some useful information. Let's have more of that, please. :)

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Kim

Actually Mandrew, you made no attempt to answer any of Niu's questions. If you are above coconuts and have nothing to add, why not be kind to our new members and just move on to the next thread that interests you.

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Brahea Axel

I actually got interested in palms for edible fruits. I have a whole grove of parajubaeas for that. Of course, IPS members would freak knowing I eat my parajubaea seeds since they are so rare, but that's another topic altogether. So I understand Niu's desire for coconuts, and the right answer is to tell her coconuts are hit and miss on that side of the island at that elevation.

To support this, I found a link http://www.agroforestry.net/tti/Cocos-coconut.pdf which says the standard habitat is zea level to 150m, but coconuts will grow all the way up to 600m elevation near the equator. Once again, it supports the notion that it's hit and miss, especially on the Hilo side of the island at that elevation.

Best thing to do is to seek out several different varieties and try them all out. There are red colored coconuts that would be fun and exotic to grow. The linked pdf form has a list of varieties to try.

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Really full garden

I live on a coffee plantation and we have mature fruiting Panama Tall coconuts growing at almost 3,000 ft.I think the nuts are a little smaller than the ones I have at my beach place.

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Jerry@TreeZoo

Didn't we see coconuts growing, but probably not fruiting, in San Jose, Costa Rica during the Biennial? San Jose is 1160 meters ASL.

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Moose

I have four coconuts growing at my place. Two are sprouted from the nuts that will be shared with beginning palm enthusiasts. When I first got interested in palms, my first plantings were wherever I was living (renting). Then a small container collection ensued and got schleeped around until I finally bought my property. Relatively common stuff that still flourishes in my garden. Seeing these older palms in my collection demonstrates my evolution as a palm-a-holic. Palm snobbery is bad mojo IMO. Don't need the rarest or the most sought after palms to keep me happy.

It all about "the eye of the beholder". What's not to like about a well grown, fruiting Cocos nucifera?

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Niu

Wow! I'm thrilled to get such support from everyone! I'm so glad I found this forum. :) I love coconuts. I like to drink the water and eat the spoonable meat, use the copra for milk, cooking and smoothies. I hope to be able to make my own oil someday. I really hope I can get my trees to produce nuts! I do live in Hawaii where coconuts abound, true. Only problem is, I can't reach them all to harvest them when they are still young. So I wish to find dwarf varieties that I can still reach with a ladder and extendable saw even after 40 years. I've been fortunate that complete strangers allow me on their property to pick cocos that would just rot, but it's not easy. My dream is to be able to wake up in the morning and walk to my tree and twist off a drupe and whack away at it and stick a straw in it. I have a few from those Samoans that have sprouted and are in pots. I hope they survive until I can get them in the ground! I will try to find different varieties and experiement as a couple of you suggested. Wish me luck. For those who were wondering "why the coco?" I hope now you know. I intend to plant all kinds of other food and flower trees, but hey, what can I say? I love coconuts! :mrlooney:

I think I have something similar to the dictyocaryum lamarckianum on the property already. I'm going to post some photos on this forum for some ID help, but I think I have Archontophoenix Alexandrae and Tahina Spectabilis at the least. I'll probably keep them even though I can't eat them.

I was up in Halualoa last week and was admiring all the fruit hanging off the trees and all those coconut trees. It did give me hope for my property even though we don't get as much sun as the Kona side gets.

Thanks for the tips, discussion and encouragement, everyone!

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DoomsDave

Niu:

Post pictures. We LOVE pictures. We're loony about pictures . . . . :mrlooney:

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bgl

I have just removed a post that, again, was totally off topic. If you don't have anything constructive to say, then don't. Niu asked valid questions and those of you who have constructive information, feel free to add your comments here. Any future posts that are off topic will be removed and the offending poster may face a warning and suspension.

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Brahea Axel

Niu, we use coconut oil almost exclusively and we use coconut milk in all our cooking. Young coconuts are quite yummy as the meat is soft and juicy.

Going with dwarf cultivars might be your best bet for getting the best fruit because the crowns would be warmer closer to the ground. But you would need to use white gravel of sorts to get the heat to reflect back into the coconuts. And you would have to resist the temptation to fill in between the coconuts with smaller species as they would take away air and heat from your coconuts.

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