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When to Harvest Coconut

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When to Harvest Coconut

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Coconuts ready for harvest image by Koshy Koshy: Flickr.com

Overview

Coconut trees, also known as coconut palms, are fruit-bearing trees that grow in tropical climates. Coconuts are the seeds of the coconut palm, and when cracked open provide an edible flesh and sweet coconut milk inside.

Step 1

Wait for your coconut tree to begin producing fruit. Coconut palms in ideal conditions do not usually begin to produce coconuts until they are between four and six years of age. Coconut trees that grow in poor conditions, unfavorable weather, or in soil with high clay and sand concentrations may not produce coconuts for 15 or 20 years after being planted.

Step 2

Keep track of the life cycle of your coconuts. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, a coconut takes approximately 12 months from when it is first produced to be ready for harvest.

Step 3

Check the color of the husks of each coconut. Coconuts with completely or mostly brown husks are ready to be harvested and can be picked either directly from the tree or from the ground if they have fallen.

Step 4

Harvest all mature coconuts from the coconut palm tree or from the ground every 40 days for a tree that is frequently producing coconuts, and up to 90 days if the tree is producing less coconuts.

Step 5

Choose a harvesting method. In India, coconuts are removed from the tree with the aid of a pole device the grips the tree to allow the worker to climb safely. In Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, trained monkeys are used to run up the tree and drop all coconuts that are ready for harvest. Otherwise, coconuts are usually left to fall off the tree when they are ready for harvest and are then collected from the ground.

Tips and Warnings

  • Climbing a coconut palm to pick coconuts is an unsafe procedure and should not be practiced.

References

  • Ikisan: Harvesting of Coconut
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: Coconuts

Who Can Help

  • Blue Planet Biomes: Coconut Tree
Keywords: harvest, coconut, palm, tropical, milk

About this Author

Megan Smith has been a freelance writer and editor since 2006. She writes about health, fitness, travel, beauty and grooming topics for various print and Internet publications. Smith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing from New York University.

Photo by: Koshy Koshy: Flickr.com

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