dwarf coconuts, tall coconuts, coconut sproutscoconut trees, dwarf coconut trees, tall coconut trees

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Fruit & Nut Trees

Edible/Useful Perennials

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We consider coconuts to be the single-most-important plant for people in the tropics! Its uses are unlimited, including year-round food and drink, weaving material, timber, bowls, rope, mulch, fire-wood, and, of course, for the enjoyment of its breathtaking elegance on moonlit nights.

Mostly we sell young coconut plants as bareroot sprouts, but occasionally we have them available in pots. We have larger specimins of coconuts in the ground for people who want a faster start, but we don't sell trees that already have trunks on them (because they require backhoes to remove). Our prices reflect a sprout whose nut is still intact, and whose leaves are from 1 - 3 feet tall. Prices go up for larger plants.

We propagate two types of dwarf coconuts (Malaysians and Samoans) and two types of tall coconuts (Common Talls and Select Talls). See descriptions below.

About Elevation and Production: As a general rule, coconuts in Hawaii will not produce above 1000 ft. elevation. There are exceptions, but above 750 ft. it becomes questionable whether you'll get coconuts on your trees. If you can, it's a good idea to look around your neighborhood and see how the other coconuts are doing before planting. However, even if coconuts won't produce, they'll still grow and be a beautiful ornamental (like any other palm).

About Color & Shape: Coconuts come in a wide range of colors, including dark and light green, bronze, tan, gold, and yellow. Though color certainly affects their ornamental quality, it has no real bearing on the taste of the coconut. Similarly, coconuts come in many shapes (round, long and oval, flat and oblique, torpedo, and more) and sizes (tiny to huge, with anywhere from a 1/2 cup of juice to nearly a 1/2 gallon!). Each coconut tree is an individual, just like people. So a green round nut on one tree might be exceptional tasting, while a green round nut on another tree might be rather average. Each combination of genetics and location will be unique.

About Spacing: Coconuts can be planted right next to each other, in rows almost any distance apart, in small or large circles, or in a grid-pattern with off-set spacing. If a tree's fronds get enough sunlight and there's enough fertility, coconuts can produce regardless of how close other trees are to them.

The biggest issue with spacing occurs when the fronds of one tree touch the crown of an adjacent tree. The danger with this is that when the wind whips the fronds around, they might knock the young nuts in the adjacent tree off. In a worst-case-scenario, this could mean losing a whole-month's production, due to all the nuts on a particular rack/bunch being knocked off by a frond.

Because of this, we recommend spacing coconuts so that an adjacent tree is at least a foot or two beyond the reach of its fronds. In general, this means 20 ft. spacing, with the exception of Malaysians which can be planted 14-15 ft. apart. (If there's ample open sky around them, coconuts will grow away from each other to get maximum sun, so this issue can be mitigated in the air later on, rather than through on-the-ground spacing.)

About Dwarf (Low-Bearing) Coconuts: Contrary to a lot of misconceptions, dwarf coconuts (Malaysians and Samoans) do get taller over time. However, they get taller at a slower rate than typical tall coconuts. The names of dwarf coconuts are somewhat arbitrary at this point, as we don't know the exact origin of each tree. They are labeled according to their characteristics (see below). Typically a well-cared-for dwarf coconut will start producing in 4-6 years, where a tall coconut will take 6-8 years. These are estimates, not guarantees.

About Coconut Propagation: All of our dwarf and selected tall coconuts are named by the individual parent tree. We have personally selected and named each variety and we guarantee the origin of each sprout. At this point, all our coconut sprouts are open-pollinated in the wild, so we cannot guarantee the other half of the parent of our sprouts. In other words, a particular sprout that comes from a dwarf tree might have mixed with tall tree pollen, and that sprout might show 1/2 dwarf & 1/2 tall characteristics (while another sprout from the same tree, or even the same bunch, might show 100% dwarf characteristics). Most of the time, a tree will preserve most or all of the mother's characteristics, but there are exceptions. We claim no responsibility if this happens.

Malaysian: These trees start producing their nuts very low to the ground. (Sometimes the first years of production are actually touching the ground!) They have a skinny trunk, compact crown (8-12 ft. fronds), and medium-to-small size nuts. They typically grow at a rate of 1-4 inches a year. Any dwarf coconut that doesn't show Samoan characteristics (see below) we call a Malaysian, although their origins could be Fiji, Tonga, or who-knows-where. They can be planted as close as 14-15 ft. apart and still not have the fronds of one tree touch the crown of an adjacent tree. Malaysians can start producing in 3-5 years from planting. (In general we have a more limited supply of Malaysians, as compared to Samoans.)

Samoan: These trees have fat trunks and giant nuts (usually 1-2 quarts of liquid in them), and a roomy crown with large thick fronds (12-18 ft. long). They typically grow at a rate of 3-6 inches a year and need to be at least 20 feet apart to avoid the fronds whipping the young nuts off the crown of an adjacent tree. Samoans generally take 5-6 years to start producing, but sometimes they're quicker.

Common Tall: These coconuts sprouts come from a diversity of areas all around Hawaii (mostly Puna) and are usually quite tasty and sufficiently productive (10-15 nuts a month). If you're not a coconut connoisseur and just want to have tropical ambience with some nuts to drink and eat once in a while, our common talls are a good value for the money. In general, a 20-ft. spacing or more is a safe bet.

Select Tall: These are our most-prized drinking nuts. If you want the best-tasting, most-productive coconuts, then these are the sprouts for you! We personally select these coconuts because they're highly productive (20-40 nuts a month, or more), they're very sweet and delicious, and they have a thin husk (which means there's a high percentage of juice in relation to the size of the nut). Here again, a 20-ft. spacing or more is generally a safe bet.


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