Why Do Palm Trees Grow Near the Ocean?


palm tree on the beach

Have you ever wondered what the connection between palm trees and the beach is? Did you notice that when there are palm trees, there is a beach nearby?

Coconut palm trees grow near the ocean because they have adapted to appreciate the beach completely. This type of palm tree grows well near the sea since the tree makes salty water into fresh water, live in competition-free sunlight, wind tolerant, and uses the sea to spread their seed.

Perhaps you’re lucky enough to have a cabin by the water and have the luxury of palm trees decorating the landscape.

This article will educate you on why coconut palm trees grow abundantly near the ocean. You will also learn to differentiate the many species of palm trees, and not all of them grow near the sea.

Facts About Palm Trees

A beach photo will not be complete without the palm trees in the background. Have you ever wondered why they grew there and how they become so big?

Believe it, or not palm trees have 2,500 different species. There are ornamental palms that you can grow for your landscape and others you can cultivate for dates, nuts, and oil.

One of the essential characteristics of palms is that they grow well in hot weather, but not all of them grow near the shore. The coconut is a palm species that was able to live in an environment near the ocean.

Palm trees grow all over the world, but did you know there are states in the United States that produce the trees on a limited number only.

You can easily identify the palm trees by their leaves. Their fan-like shape leaves are known as fronds, and it has a section that grows outward from a common point. The leaf lengths of palm trees vary, and the longest is 10 feet.

Some palm trees have thick, squat trunks covered with scales. Others are thin, narrow trees having small heads with fronds on top. They usually grow in potted and planted surroundings.

Palms usually have hard external trunks, but inside they are like all other specific kinds of trees. Not all palm trees produce coconut fruit and flowers.

Learn More About Coconut Palm Tree

Do all palm trees grow coconuts? Not all palm trees grow coconut. There are only two species of palm trees that can bear coconut fruit and flowers. Cocos nucifera is a pan-tropical palm species that lives mostly in humid, frost-free weather around the world.

This coconut bearing palm tree is a generous palm tree that grows on or near the ocean with tropical climates around the world. In the USA, coconuts are abundant in Hawaii and Florida. The coconuts are covered with a green husk that turns into a brown seed as the time goes by. Picking the coconut fruit is a challenge as the tree is very tall. But sometimes they fall to the ground naturally.

If you are after the coconut water, go for the green coconuts. Mature or brown coconuts have less water and more meat inside. Their leaves are thin, long, and fibrous and are used to weave baskets and made into rooftops in tropical countries. With these, it is enough to say that coconuts are very useful.

The fruit is referred to as a miracle plant that you can use for different things. You can use it as a drink, as a food and the other parts are added to beauty products and other medicines. The coconut husks are used as fuel. It is not called a miracle plant for anything.

Reasons Why Coconut Palm Trees Grow Near the Sea

In the first part of this article, the reasons why palm trees grow near the ocean were mentioned. This part will discuss these reasons further, so you will have a better view of this.

We all know that only a few plants can live near the ocean because of the hot weather and salty water that plants do not like. The soil around the beach is also less healthy as compared to ordinary soil if this is the case, then why coconut palms grow abundantly on these areas without the need to give too much attention to them.

There are various reasons why palm trees grow in almost all the ocean in the world. These adaptations have taken place sometimes, and it makes the palm as one of the unique plants on earth. Below are some of the facts that make the coconut palms unique.

1.    Coconut Palms Can Tolerate Salty Water

Plants cannot survive saltwater except for coconut palms. Palm belongs to a group known as halophytes, which can convert saltwater to drinkable water.

This is one quality that only a palm tree has. It undergoes two processes:

The coconut palm roots block the salt but absorb the moisture

The palm tree absorbs the salty water than direct the salt into a particular area in the plant’s cells where the salts are stored and not using it.

2.    This Plant Loves Sandy Soils

It is unusual for a plant to thrive in sandy soils. One of the less healthy kinds of soil is sandy soils. It has more structure and is not capable of holding on organic matter. The organic matter provides most of the nutrients in plants like potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen. Ocean soil tends to drain easily, so plants have limited access to moisture.

The coconut palm trees grow easily near the ocean, which provides the plant an abundant supply of moisture, and it can also tolerate the high salinity of the seawater.

3.    The Sea Distributes the Seeds

One of the vital characteristics of this plant is its capability to reproduce. It is one way how plants evolve. Just like humans, plants need to reproduce to spread their species and pass their genes to the succeeding generation.

Other plants use other means to propagate their species. Some use birds to carry and spread their seeds. But with coconuts, this is not possible as the seed is too heavy for the birds to move. Therefore, they need the ocean to help them distribute their seeds. So, if you notice most of the palm trees tend to lean on the sea, they just don’t grow straight up.

When the seeds dry out, it is being carried out in the water, and it will pick up the seed eventually and carry it out to the sea. The seeds will be transported into another beach where it can start growing.

4.    Coconut Palm Trees Can Survive More Sunlight

The competition in the area is less since only a few plants can grow near the beach. The coconut palms can have the sunlight it needs. Are you wondering why coconut palm can survive the high temperature? It’s because of their leaves. The coconut leaves function just like solar panels.

The plant requires enough sunlight for photosynthesis, and if the palm trees are grown in an area where there are lots of plants growing, the coconut tree might not be able to get the sunlight it needs. Since the area near the ocean has less competition, these palms can take all the sun without the need to compete with other plants.

5.    Coconut Tree’s Thin Structure Can Adapt to Strong Wind

The windy environment is not the usual place to plant shrubs and trees. But, because of the thin structure that the coconut palm tree has, it was able to adapt easily in this kind of environment. This is an outstanding characteristic for the palm tree that makes it very adaptable to the ocean’s climate. You might see coconut palms growing at odd angles. You will rarely see a palm tree falling because of strong wind.

Final Thoughts

When people see palm trees lining up, the next thing they will is the ocean. It is the only tree that grows on the beach, and they make the ocean shore breathtaking and very relaxing. The trees grow in different directions; some are straight, and others are curved, but all of them serve the same purpose.

People use them as a shelter to protect themselves from the hot temperature. The fruits liquid can be used to quench your thirst, and the meat can be eaten. Thus, the palm trees and ocean go together.

Not all palm trees on the beach can survive. The palm tree species that you usually see near the beach is the coconut palm tree. This species can adapt well to the temperature, wind, and salty water of the ocean.

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