Perils of Coconuts

Discussion in 'PALM TREES - WHERE TROPICAL STARTS' started by TonyLoco, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. TonyLoco

    TonyLoco Active Member

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    South Florida
    I was thinking of planting a couple 12 foot coconut trees on my swale outside my house.

    My wife is against it because she thinks they would be dangerous (coconuts falling on peoples heads or damaging cars)

    But as long as we pick the coconuts off the trees before Hurricane season we should be pretty safe right?

    Problem is that in a few years the trees will be too tall to reach the coconuts without some specialist equipment.

    How fast do coconut trees grow? And how much would it cost to hire someone to come and remove the coconuts before hurricane season each year?

    I am in South Florida.
     
  2. kwtimo

    kwtimo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    586
    Location:
    key west, fl 10b-11
    I am a definite advocate for not having Coconut palms on residential properties, unless the property is absolutely large enough to handle the true scope of the palm. Acreage is usually the key here. Being a landscaper in the Florida Keys, I am always encountering homeowners who are up in arms about their Coconuts. Whether its the neighbors tree that gradually started to lean over the wall or fence, and they neglect to do any maintenance or pruning on them, or the property owners themselves who cannot do the work themselves, or are unhappy with the cost of pruning twice a year to minimize any potential hazards.
    I do love the Cocos nucifera for all of its agricultural potential. Almost every part of the tree can be utilized for something. And they are nice looking. However, there are many more beautiful, interesting and zone appropriate palms that can be used instead. Beccariophoenix madagascarensis bears a strikingly similar resemblance to the coconut, the coastal form is even quite salt tolerant. Satakenita luikiuensis is a gorgeous, stately palm that does very well even in poor soil conditions. Neoveitchia storckii is another prime choice. Even groupings of palms that don't quite have the massive crown of leaves can achieve the same effect. How about three Kentiopsis oliviformis at staggered heights? Or Cyphophoenix elegans or nucele, Burretiokentia hapala. Even a grouping of Chambeyronia macrocarpa can be stunning, especially when the new leaves emerge fiery red. There are also a lot of large Dypsis species that can do what you are looking for.
    Let's face it, anything over 15 ft tall can be hazardous, so the thought would be to diminish the risk. Check out the palm encyclopedia in the WIKI on this website. Keep asking questions. Go to some nurseries and check out material. Searle Brother's Nursery is having their Spring Extravaganza in March, where there is always tons of great looking, healthy material available for sale. I would just be sad to hear that valuable space was eaten up by coconuts that would not be used to their full agricultural potential.
     
  3. Jeff Searle

    Jeff Searle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,754
    Location:
    South Florida, USA
    I think coconuts are pretty good choice, but I would consider the area your living in. If the street your on is relatively quiet with cars, especially if cars are parking underneath them, and if there's much in the way of foot traffic going by, if not, I wouldn't worry about them. And you can trim the seed off them yourself until they get too big, then it will become a cost issue. I have no idea the cost. With two trees, probably about $200-300 total(??).

    Lol! Thanks for the nice "plug" Tim. But at the end of the day, your right, there are plenty of other good choices out there.
     
  4. TonyLoco

    TonyLoco Active Member

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    South Florida
    Thanks for your input guys. I have never heard of any of those palms that Tim had mentioned.

    We ended up putting in 2 beautiful Phoenix Sylvestris instead:

    IMG_1262.JPG
     

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