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randal

Medjool Date Palm will not pollinate

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randal

Please forgive my ignorance. I am a newbie. 

I planted a medjool date palm 2 1/2 years ago that was 6 feet tall.  About a year and a half later it flowered, so I attempted to pollinate the female flowers. However I may have been a little late to do so. There are no male date trees nearby. There were about 6 or 7 flowers. The tree produced what appeared to be dates but they were without meat, only a fibrous substance inside that was very bitter to the taste and inedible. The were about half the size of a large medjool date. Interestingly enough, there were about 5 or 6 dates among all the flowers that actually developed into fleshy sweet dates. Not sure I understand that.

This year, I took the pollen I saved from last year and attempted to pollinate when the female flower first opened. There were about 15 flowers all opening at different stages. I pollinated each flower about every other day to insure that I didn't miss any stage of possible pollination. I stopped pollinating well after the flowers came out of the sheath.  I then thinned the tree down to about 6 flowers. This year I experienced the same result as last year. The fruit is about the 

Both years the tree received plenty of water and was fertilized several times a year. The palm has always been healthy and to date stands about 13 or 14 feet tall.  Attached is a photo of the tree and the inedible fruit that it has produced. 

 

My question is, why am I not getting any dates that mature to sweet, edible fruit. 

Is it possible for pollen to go bad?

Thanks for any advice you may render,

Randy

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Garcia3

What a beautiful Medjool!! I dont have the experience necessary to answer your question yet but hopefully in time that will change.  You should reach out to Doug Jones of the AZ rare fruit growers society, he is my go to for all my date palm questions.  Or you might try Deborah Thirkill, she runs the ASU Date palm farm out at the polytechnic campus.  I'm sure one of them could probably provide you with some direction.  If you do find anything helpful please share.  PS where did you find your Medjool?  I've been looking for one myself.    

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randal

Thanks for the info. I will start with Doug Jones since you already have contacted him. How would I get ahold of Doug?

I got my medjool from Desert Horizon Nursery & Landscape Design in Queen Creek. It wasn't cheap. 

Do you have any date palms now?

Randy

 

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Fusca
On 8/1/2020 at 6:22 PM, randal said:

Is it possible for pollen to go bad?

Hi Randy, welcome to Palmtalk!

First thing that I thought of after reading your experience as the quality of pollen.  I believe that pollen can go bad and might not be usable after a single growing season if not stored properly.  I have no experience with pollinating plants but I have read that pollen is usually stored in the freezer to keep it fresh as long as possible.  Assuming that you were pollinating correctly I'm guessing that the pollen you got was old or wasn't stored properly.  Hopefully you can get in touch with the local experts to help you out.  I do know that female date palms that are not pollinated will still produce parthenocarpic fruits that are less flavorful and smaller than pollinated dates and they contain a rudimentary, seedless endocarp.

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Garcia3

I'll PM you Doug's contact info.  The AZ rare fruit grower society has monthly meetings (currently cancelled due to COVID) on all kinds of topics, and typically in May or June they do a whole meeting dedicated to Date Palms.  I just recently found the group and didn't have the chance to make it last year but I'm hoping they'll start back up again.  I do have a couple of varieties but it'll be a while before I get any fruit, man I look very forward to that day though!!   

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randal

Thanks Fusca. That is exactly what I have. The fruit is seedless, very fibrous and bitter when bitten in to.  They are also half or 2/3 the size of a normal Medjool date. 

Thanks for the confirmation. I will seek out some new pollen and some advice from a local expert. 

Thanks,

Randy

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Kim

Randal -- Hello and welcome to PalmTalk. You have posted your question in the wrong forum. I suggest you contact PALM MOD using the messages tab (envelope shape) at the top of the page and request to have your question moved to the main forum Discussing Palm Trees Worldwide -- you will get many more replies there! 

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Kim

Bump!

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awkonradi
On 8/5/2020 at 2:15 PM, Fusca said:

I do know that female date palms that are not pollinated will still produce parthenocarpic fruits that are less flavorful and smaller than pollinated dates and they contain a rudimentary, seedless endocarp.

That is really interesting.  My first thought was the fruit in Randy's picture HAD to be from pollinated flowers, and maybe this "Medjool" wasn't really a Medjool.  I learn something new on PT every visit.

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