Coconut Safety pg.2

- Do not plant them close to homes or buildings. In addition to the danger of falling nuts down below, consider whether you want falling nuts and fronds on your roof ( and whether your roof can tolerate human footsteps without breaking tiles, etc.). Rats also delight in running all over your roof, from whence they will find entry into your home by gnawing through window screens, and taking up residence in indoor crannies such as dishwashers, cupboards, under the fridge, etc.

- Do not plant them close to swimming pools or hot-tubs.

- When initially landscaping your property, consider the space that the palm will occupy in 8-10 years. How tall will it become? How far will the fronds spread? How much will it cost to fell it? Remember that a falling coconut frond is a surprisingly heavy object, capable of serious injury, especially to children.

- Plant “Samoan” or Malaysian dwarf coconuts. Although in great demand and difficult to find, they not only take up less garden space, but their nuts are low to the ground and fronds more easily trimmed.

- Plant tall coconuts only around the periphery of your yard if you plan on eating their nutritious bounty. However, this leads to a problem of regularly picking up germinating nuts in the unkempt portion of your yard. (Don’t throw them away – they’re good to eat.)

- Consider fencing of an area of at least 15 feet in diameter around the base, or at least planting laua’e ferns or other quick growing ground cover which can bounce back after being flattened by falling nuts and fronds. This is essential if you have small children.

- Hire a professional coconut palm trimmer. Nuts need trimming about every 6 months. Personally, I lament this “castration” process even though I realize that it is necessary in public places and under certain circumstances. Note, however, that palms grow taller much faster after trimming : great amounts of energy that would have produced flowers and nuts now become diverted into tree growth.

- Never hang hammocks between two fruiting palms. Never place outdoor benches, chaise-lounges, etc. beneath the palms.

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