If you have traveled to many places, chances are that you have come across a palm tree or a coconut tree, or both. From the outlook, these trees nearly look the same. Sometimes, you might confuse the coconut tree for a palm tree and vice versa. However, these trees are different. To start with, the palm tree is one of the most prevalent trees in pop culture. As a result, most people are very conversant with how a palm tree looks like. Since coconuts are obtained from palm trees, most people tend to think that palm trees and coconut trees are the same.
However, they are different in a number of ways. It is imperative to note that palm tree contains more than 3000 species world over. The coconut tree is one of the many species of the palm tree. That said, it is essential to note that not all palm trees bear coconuts. In this case, it is true to say that a coconut tree is generally a palm tree. However, not all palm trees are coconut trees. In this article, we shall take a closer look at both trees so that you can know what sets them apart.
What is a Coconut Tree?
First and foremost, the botanical name for the tree mentioned above is cocos nucifera. In most places, this tree is known as coco palm or coconut palm. From the outlook, this tree usually has a smooth, leaning trunk that can actually grow up to 100 feet from the ground. This tree usually has several pinnate leaves at the top. Unlike other kinds of palm trees, the coconut palm tree is one of the most widely grown palm trees in the world. Therefore, you are likely to find them along the coasts of many countries out there. A coconut tree usually has deep roots and can live for 100 years and above.
A coconut tree that is between 4 and 5 years can start producing coconuts. However, these fruits tend to attain full size after 6 months. However, they take one full year to mature fully. It is important to note that each coconut tree is capable of producing 25 nuts annually. Finally, the coconut tree is widely grown in Africa, the Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, Australia, India, Asia, and South America. Generally, this tree grows well in tropical and subtropical environments as these places have the much-needed warmth and humidity or moisture needed for optimal growth. In fact, this characteristic makes these trees more prevalent in the Maldives.
What is a Palm Tree?
To start with, the scientific name for this tree is Aracaceae. Generally, the term ‘palm tree’ is used in reference to all the trees that are under the Palmaceae class. As far as its structure is concerned, this tree has a slender stem, and its trunk can grow up to 30 meters tall. However, most palm trees are between 10 and 15 meters as far as their height is concerned. When the palm trees are young, their trunks are usually green in color. However, as they approach their maturity, the trunks of these trees turn grey. Like we mentioned above, the palm tree has more than 3000 species and more than 230 families as far as its classification is concerned. It is imperative to note that the species are found in the United States. However, they are more prevalent in Florida and South California.
One of the notable features of palm trees is the shape of their leaves. You will realize that these leaves usually have the shape of a fan. Besides this, the leaves have sections that start from a single point. Finally, it is essential to note that palm trees are not delicious trees. This means that they hardly shed their leaves during the winter season. In most cases, these trees remain evergreen for the better part of the year.
The Main Differences Between a Coconut Tree And a Palm Tree
Like we mentioned above, most people assume that palm trees are coconut trees and vice versa. However, the reality of the issue is that only a specific species of palm trees are able to bear coconuts. Therefore, all coconut trees are palm trees but not all palm trees are coconut trees. Here are other differences that separate these two types of trees.
1. What each tree produces
Coconut trees are known to produce coconut fruits, while their counterparts are known to produce palm oil.
2. Structure of the leaves
Although both trees bear leaves, the structure of these leaves is different. For instance, the leaves of a coconut tree are wide-shaped. On the other hand, the leaves of a palm tree are fan-shaped.
As far as the lifespan of a coconut tree is concerned, it is said that it can live up to 100 years. However, most of them usually live between 60 and 80 years. This characteristic makes this tree to be referred to as a 3-generation tree. On the other hand, the palm tree can live up to 150 years. However, the average lifespan of these trees ranges between 7 and 8 decades. It is important to note that the lifespan of a palm tree depends on a particular species. This means that some species have a longer lifespan while others have a relatively shorter one.
4. Nature of the root system
Like we stated above, coconut trees usually have deep roots whose diameter is about 1 cm. However, the roots of palm trees are not that deep but rather spread on the base. In fact, they can spread as far as 36 inches, thereby making the tree more stable.
5. Best climate for each tree
Coconut trees are known to grow well in wet and hot tropical climates. This is because these climates can provide the much-needed moisture and warmth that helps to facilitate the growth of these trees. On the other hand, palm trees grow well in warm tropical climates. Generally, these trees do well in places that are warm enough as these trees usually get affected by the cold temperature during the winter season. This is the reason why you may never find these trees in areas that experience extremely cold temperatures.
From the produce of each tree to the best climate each tree grows well in, there are many differences between Coconut Tree And Palm Tree. It is important that you know these differences so that you can know which tree to plant at home. Note these differences today, and you will no longer have problems distinguishing the trees mentioned above.