Desert Date Tree

Desert Date Tree

The desert date tree is one of the most drought resistant trees in the world. The live of these trees can reach more than 100 years old. In the most drought desert area, they can offer a lot of things for people who are struggling to live. Nearly all part of it can be valuable to people including the fruit, leaves, flowers and even trunk and branches.

This tree species can grow up to 10 meters in height once their roots are well established in the drought area. It is a common tree seen in desert area especially in Sahel. Its leaves have special coating covering on the surface to effectively prevent the water from losing quickly. Compared with most tree species, desert date trees have two root systems which interweave each other into a complex underground web system. The roots can extend to a distance more than 20 meters from the trunk and can reach nearly 10 meters in depth into the soil. The huge root system help the tree to absorb water from the deep area underground and give the trunk a good support to resist some storms in the desert. Another functionality of the tree is that they do not rely only on leaves to complete the photosynthesis to get energy. The branches and spines can also do the same work once all leaves are fallen.

The desert date can bring too much valuable things for human beings. Although its fruits are not delicious as the real dates, they can still be used to extract sugar or for other cuisines. In some seasons when there is a food shortage, the fruits are important food source for local people. Also, the bark and leaves of the tree can be used as herb medicines for treatment of some illness. The fruits are also a good material to make oil. The oil contained in the fruit is appraised by many people for their nutritional and medical qualities.

Image provided By AparajitaB (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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