7 IMPORTANT ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS IN THE LIFE OF COCONUT TREES
If someone mentions the word “tropical”, the first image that pops up in our head, would be that of a coconut tree. No wonder, because the tropic landscapes are blessed with the presence of our very own Kalpavriksha- The tree of life. There are various reason that this fresh, energizing and life sustaining tree has decided it’s abode to be here. Perhaps almost the same points that our beloved farmers took a chance to look at their future by growing themselves a coconut plantations. And those are certainly some geographical and environmental factors, that makes our life filled with the taste of coconuts. Take a look:-
- Temperature :
As a tropical crop, which grows well on regions with hot climate, temperature has an important role on the growth and productivity of the palm. The temperature should be from 20 ° to 32°C, with an mean annual temperature of 21 ° to 27°C for great production of yield. High temperature may cause decrease in production due to drying up of trees.
- Altitude :
Palms are usually grown in major scale on plains not too high from the sea level. Normally an altitude of 600 m appears to be the limit for commercial coconut cultivation. Coconut can be grown upto 900 m above mean sea level in according to the circumstances.
- Rainfall :
The seasonal rainfall is important to the soil features. Rainfall of about 1300-2300 mm per year is ideal for coconut farming, if the soil and nutrition is provided good. Even in dry areas with an annual rainfall of 500 to 800 mm, it is possible to grow coconut near valleys or adjacent to water resources, where soil moisture is adequate.
- Humidity :
The optimum humidity is 80 – 85 per cent, monthly means of relative humidity should not fall below 60%. High relative humidity will increase the attack of pest and disease and reduces nutrient uptake.
- Wind :
In coconut trees, wind plays an important part in the pollen transportation for the fertilization of flowers and better absorption of water. Winds usually increases transpiration rates and helps in uptake of nutrients from soil.
- Sunlight :
The palm requires plenty of sunlight and does not grow well under dim lit, cloudy conditions. Conditions without much sun, will affect the amount of transpiration. But when it comes to young coconut seedlings, too much sunlight would be harmful, so it is advised to provide adequate shade to them for preventing from causing drying up.
- Soil :
Soil should be fertile and stable to support the palm tree life. Different soil types such as laterite, coastal sandy, alluvial, and also in reclaimed soils of the marshy lowlands, are all suitable for the steady growth of coconut trees. A range of soil pH from 5.5-8.5 would be adequate for sustaining a steady growth and growth of palm trees.