A coconut palm usually begins to bear at around seven or eight years. But it is about the tenth to fifteenth year before it reaches full production. Thereafter it may bear up to a hundred nuts a year for more than fifty years. Then it starts to fail, and dies at the age of ninety or so.
The coconut palm needs plenty of water, sunshine and a temperature of at least 72° F. Most of the year. Provided these conditions, it sends its gracefully curved, branch less trunk forty to a hundred feet into the air. Its top is crowned with feather like leaves, flowers and developing nuts. The leaves may reach a length of twenty feet. They have a strong midrib from which long leaflets grow, giving the feather like appearance.
The ripened nuts are large and have a smooth, light-coloured rind. It takes about a year for a nut to ripen. But a tree at any moment may have nuts at all stages of development, from opening flower to ripe nut.