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date palm offshoot?


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Good morning, I'm an American living in the UAE for the past 15-ish years.. I have four date palms in my garden, they were mature when we moved in and have been doing great all these years.  I have 1 male and 3 female, so we have been getting dates from at least one tree every year pretty much since we moved in. 

I've noticed on the male tree what I now think may be an offshoot, but it's super high.  I noticed these weird looking 'growths', turns out they are actually fronds that then unfurled, looked so odd (to me)...  Looking at the overall tree, I can see there's a gap forming (top right in this pic), I don't want the tree to go all wonky, I assume it needs to be removed?  Is this something I can do myself, or better to try and bring someone in? Or is something else entirely going on here?

Also on one of the female trees, there's what I view as the more typical offshoot, at the bottom.  I assume I should also remove that for the health of the tree?  I watched some YouTube videos, I can essentially just cut that off?  Maybe try to root it in a pot?

Really appreciate any advice or suggestions..






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Has the main growing point on your male plant been damaged in any way. I'd imagine these new growth points might develop if the main one got damaged. As for the suckers at the base of the palms these are unlikey to grow unless they have there own roots but removing should not be a problem.

Regarda Neil

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Thanks for the replies..

I checked again this afternoon.. as far as I can tell there are still new fronds growing from the top-middle, as they normally do.. and it really just looks like a smaller palm sprouting out from there.  Curiouser and curiouser..

Also I was gifted a new date palm, it’s all bound up and after planting it I was told to leave it “for a while” before untying.  How long is a while?  it’s been in the ground in our garden now for several months...



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Strange looking little thing. Looks like an alien growing out of your palm. haha

Former South Florida resident living in the Greater Orlando Area, zone 9b.

Constantly wishing I could still grow zone 10 palms worry-free, but also trying to appease my strange fixation with Washingtonias. 

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Offshoots for sure.  I have one like that.  It now has 12 growing points if I counted correctly yesterday.  Trimming was fun until I came inside and realized I got a free ear piercing.

Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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Yeah, they can be pretty mean...

Does yours have any ill effects from the offshoots?  I need to be more observant around town, most palms I see here haven’t had offshoots that high..  it’s the only male tree I have, so I hope it will continue to bloom..

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Phoenix dactylifera often makes offshoots at groundlevel and sometimes also higher up trunk. The latter is often caused by the trunk being damaged at some point. I have seen this at several locations in Spain; the photo is from Elche in Spain.



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The palm in the photo is in fact standing on it's roots, but offshoots higher on the trunk do occur as you are experiencing now with your datepalm. It's up to you what to do; do you want a bizar and architectural sight? Just let it grow! Do you prefer a single trunked datepalm? Just remove them and try to root them. Either choice won't harm the palm. My choice would be to let them grow, but, as I stated, it's a personal thing.

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