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Canary Island Date Palm Tree

Canary island date palm tree in the landscape. date palm tre that produces dates

The Canary Date Palm Tree, scientific name Phoenix canariensis, is easily recognized through its crown of leaves and trunk characteristics.  This is a large palm that can tolerate cold down to 15F making it perfect for growing in zone 8b. It is very easy to grow but does require some maintenance in order to keep its nice appearance.

Canary Date Palm Tree Info

Scientific name: Phoenix canariensis

Common names: It is also known as Canary Island Date Palm, Canary Palm, Pineapple Palm, and Canary Island Palm.

Family: Arecaceae

Origin: It is native to Canary Islands and North Africa.

AppearanceIt has a gray-brown stout trunk covered with old leaf bases in unique diamond shapes. The trunk is topped with a big crown of 45-50 large dark green leaves with 80-100 leaflets in two rows. Arching pinnate, or feather-like, fronds can get up to 18ft long. The lower half of the stem are covered with 2-3 inch sharp spines. Be careful while pruning.

Flowers/Fruits: The Canary Date Palm produces small creamy flowers held by branched stalks. The Canary Date Palm is dioecious, male and females grow on the same inflorescence. Female flowers are followed by orange-brown to dark purple round fruits, ½ inch in diameter. Fruits are fleshy, date-like, grow in clusters. They are edible but not tasty.

Growth Rate: Phoenix canariensis is a massive palm tree that can grow up to 50-60 ft tall and 15-20 ft wide.

Outdoor/Indoor Use: Both. The Canary Island Date Palm Tree can also grow in a pot.

Cold Tolerance: It is cold hardy to about 15-20F. It can also tolerate drought when mature enough. Great for growing in USDA Zones 8b (15 to 20 F) to 11 (above 40 F).

Light Req: Partial shade to full sun. The Canary Date Palm grows well in full sun but can survive partial shade.

Water Req: Moderate. Likes moist but well-drained soil.

Maintenance: Easy. It is not a self-cleaning palm, so you need to cut off dead leaves to maintain its beautiful appearance otherwise you will end with decomposing leaves hanging from below the palm’s canopy. When pruned correctly, the bottom of the crown has a so-called nut that looks like a pineapple, hence the name Pineapple Palm.

To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during the growing season.

Insects and Diseases: Generally healthy palm.

Propagation: Propagated by seed.

Benefits And Facts About the Canary Island Date Palm Tree


The Canary Island Date Palm (Phoenix canariensis) provides a multitude of benefits which can be grouped into three main categories: environmental, economic, and aesthetic benefits.​

  • Carbon Sequestration: The tree absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen, contributing to a healthier environment.

  • Reduction of Air Pollution: The large leaves filter dust and other pollutants from the air.

  • Soil Erosion Control: The extensive root system helps bind the soil, preventing erosion.

  • Provides Habitat: Branches and leaves provide shelter for birds and small mammals.

  • Shade Provider: The broad canopy offers shade, reducing local temperatures.

  • Windbreak: The dense growth can provide a natural wind barrier

  • Landscape Use: It's commonly used in landscape design due to its impressive size and shape.

  • Timber Source: The trunk can be harvested for timber.

  • Date Production: It produces edible dates, although less common than the true date palm.

  • Tourism Attraction: The tropical appearance attracts tourists, enhancing local economies.

  • Low Maintenance: The tree requires minimal care, reducing maintenance costs.Aesthetic Benefits

  • Architectural Interest: The tree's unique shape and structure offer architectural interest.

  • Adds Color: The tree provides visual interest with its vibrant green leaves.

  • Tropical Appearance: It helps to create a tropical feel in landscapes.

  • Privacy Screen: Due to its density, it can be used as a privacy screen.

  • Indoor Decor: Smaller specimens can be used as indoor decor.

Canary Island Date Palm Tree Diseases

Clearly, the Canary Island Date Palm is more than just a pretty face in the landscape — it's a powerhouse of environmental, economic, and aesthetic benefits that make it a valuable addition to any setting.

However, like all living beings, the Canary Island Date Palm is susceptible to certain diseases that can hinder its growth and impact its overall health.


One common affliction is the Fusarium Wilt, a fungal disease that leads to wilting and eventual death of the tree. Another disease, Ganoderma Butt Rot, caused by the fungus Ganoderma zonatum, results in the rotting of the base of the palm. The Palm Borer Beetle can also create significant damage, boring into the trunk and causing structural weakness. Early detection and proper treatment are key in managing these diseases and ensuring the longevity and health of the Canary Island Date Palm.

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