Even the Tenerife chainsaw massacre can’t stop them, the sturdy Canary Island Date Palm, takes everthing in its stride, including the sporadic trunk trim by the local council workers. As you see those huge husks of bark carved off, it’s easy to worry that the Phoenix Canariensis will never regain its former splendour, but it always does.
How spoilt are we to hardly give this majestic giant a second glance as we go about our daily business. The palm can tower up to 20 metres high, or remain considerably more squat, but it always boasts its crowning glory of leaves, many of them up to 18 inches long. The rough trunk of the tree is covered in diamond shaped scars from old discarded growths, let your eyes climb upwards and you will find the pineapple shaped bulge that spews out its topping.
Even palm trees are male and female, the male produces cream coloured flowers under a leafy hood but the female has flowers on branched stalks. The dates, a 2cm long yellow or orange drupe, are found on the female tree but although they are just about edible, it’s not a great idea. Unlike holiday makers, the palm can take as much sun as nature throws at it, and only needs a minimum of moisture.