Date palm trees are both male and female, which means they are dioecious.
The process of pollination begins when male palm trees reach maturity and start to sprout yellow flowers, which secrete pollen.
After pollen from the males are transferred to the female palms, the flowers of the female palms begin to produce dates.
Our date palms are able to pollinate naturally by wind, bees, and other insects. However, we use a manual process to optimize the overall quality of the dates.
During early spring, the spathes, or flower stalks emerge from the leaves.
This is the time which signals that the male tree palms are ready for the harvesting process to start.
Our farmers begin to harvest the male flowers within 24 hours of when the spathe splits open to avoid loss of pollen. We carefully choose only the best male trees.
The entire procedure takes around six months. Because our palms are pollinated by hand, the trees must be monitored every day.
The tree begins to produce buds around April or May. During this period the dates are round, firm, and bright green. Our famers begin to separate the strands, which ensures each date bud is able to breathe and grow to its full potential.
Climate and irrigation
If you are curious as to why dates are grown in the desert, the answer lies in the climate in which they flourish.
Palm trees cannot thrive in wet or cold climates, therefore the desert is most suitable as it’s very hot and dry the whole year.
Rainfall is limited to less than 3 inches per year, and summer temperatures in Saudi deserts are normally around 40°C.
Specific borders must be built around the roots of the trees in order to cultivate water at the base.
This border also prevents weeds or grass from growing near the palm, which would affect the well-being of the tree.
Each tree requires around 60,000 gallons of water per year but only at the base of the tree. If water or rainfall touches the flowers or spathes, it will obstruct the cultivation process. This is similar to swimming in the ocean or a pool without getting your hair wet.
Saudi Arabia hosts around 20% of all palm trees – the highest number in the world. Each palm is carefully monitored and strategically harvested. When a palm tree is first planted, it does not begin to produce fruit until its fifth year of life.
At the beginning of July, the dates begin to ripen. However some dates do not start to ripen until August and sometimes September. This is a strategic process, which requires careful examination of the dates. Since our dates are hand-picked, the harvesters carefully choose only the ripest dates to harvest.
The second harvest begins two weeks later. Since too much sun can cause the dates to become too dry, the “peak period” is very important and challenging. Appearance is one of the main factors which distinguishes the difference between Grade A, B and C. Our brand offers all types, making them suitable for different varied usage in the food world.
We have around 100 workers, and each tree takes around thirty minutes each time to harvest individually.
Our farmers wear elastic belts and attach themselves to the palms. The dates are collected and stored at 5°C for 24 hours.
This is part of the cooling process mentioned earlier. The next day the grading process occurs. Dates are graded and chosen based on what we refer to as CS3 – colour, softness, shape and size.
After the dates have been selected and apporved to go through this filtering system, they are cleaned with a special machine which naturally cleanses the dates without altering the appearance. This process ensures the overall quality and cleanliness we take such pride in.