How to Start a Palm Growing Business
To start a palm tree growing business, it is essential that you have an understanding of the planting and growth process of palm trees. It is important that you get the right environment for planting your palm trees. Palm trees thrive in tropical areas. A palm tree is extensively used for many purposes. This means that the tree has significant economic value, which can translate to a profitable palm tree business.
Register your business. Follow the business registration procedures appropriate to your country of operation. Also, find out whether you need to register your palm plantation with the Ministry of Agriculture.
Find the right location. Palm trees do well in tropical regions that have a temperature range of about 15°C or 59°F. There are some palm tree varieties that can do well in colder areas, including the Bismarck palm, Dwarf Sugar palm, and the Chinese Windmill palm. Other varieties of palm trees include the Kentia palm, Parlor palm, Raphia palm and the Golden Cane palm (see Reference 1).
Plant the trees. Get seedlings or purchase palm trees and plant them in a nursery or greenhouse. It takes one to three months for a palm tree to develop shoots and two to three years to mature into full-grown trees. The seeds can be transplanted from the nursery to the farm or ground after their shoots have developed. The best time to transplant is during spring. Palm trees grow from the part of the trunk referred to as the root initiation zone, which is marked by a 'V' shaped area at the base of the trunk. When transplanting, ensure that the root initiation zone is at least one inch below the ground. If you are transplanting from a pot, dig a hole which is twice as big as the pot and deep enough for the root initiation zone to be properly placed (see Reference 2).
Maintain the trees. Palm trees scarcely need to be pruned. However, they need to be maintained by removing dried-up fronds, watering the tree regularly, and cutting out suckers. Suckers are branches which grow from the base of the tree. Removing suckers helps to improve the growth of the tree. The trees need to be fertilized once or twice during the growing season. Use fertilizers that are rich in potassium, magnesium, manganese and iron. In winter, protect the trees from frost by wrapping their trunks. You can use bubble wrap. The trees can also be mulched during winter. The mulch can be about three inches to six inches deep (see Reference 1).
Harvest the tree or the products. This depends on what your business aims are. It takes one year for the coconuts to ripen and be harvested, when they have turned dark brown. An average tree produces about 60 coconuts in a year. Harvesting methods include climbing or using the pole method. Climbing involves going up the tree to get the coconuts; with the pole method, the harvester stands on the ground and uses a long pole to knock down the coconuts. The palm fronds and oil are also harvested (see Reference 3).
Sell your products. Find individuals or companies who need your palm trees or the products from the palm trees. Palm oil can be used to make margarine, soap and candles. The fronds and trunk of the tree can be used for thatching and making walls of houses. The husk of the tree provides fiber for making clothes (see Reference 4). You can research online to find companies that buy palm trees or palm-tree products, and approach them to see if they would be willing to buy products from you (see Reference 4). There are numerous sites online where you can sell your palm trees, including tradeboss.com, palmprofessionals.com, and importers.com.