A date with a ‘date palm’ along the road

Get rid of the thorns

Get rid of the thorns

The summer has begun, and its getting warmer… and very soon it will be too hot for comfort.

But it’s a good time for the date farmers. Towards the end of the winter, the palms have been cleaned up and pruned. The thorns cut away so the farmers get get up on the palm fronds and get to work on the pollination process. Since the male trees produce pollen and the female trees produce flowers, the pollination is done manually.

(Did you know that date palms have thorns that are approximately 4 to 5 inches long, and can easily pierce through a truck tire.)

The workers climb on the trees and stand on the palm fronds while cleaning and pollinating. Unbelievable! Each frond can hold approximately 250 pounds. The workers separate each strand of the female flower during the pollination process.

And now, as the the summer days grow longer, and as the fruit begins to bud on the strands, the thinning process will begin.

A bunch of flowers and the tools of the trade

A bunch of flowers and the tools of the trade

Climbing...

Climbing…

No worries… the frond can hold him

No worries… the frond can hold him

Cleaning and pruning

Cleaning and pruning

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