Deformation of the Date Palm tree trunk in Dammam Metropolitan Area: causes and consequences
Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) is one of the elegant trees that performs several landscaping functions. Its single trunk textured by bases of the cut leaves distinguishes it from other ornamental trees. This cylindrical textured trunk is one of the major attractive features emphasized the use of date palms as ornamental landscaping trees. Across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Date palms in public landscaping schemes have experienced deformation of their trunks. This is a function of several factors related to plantation, irrigation, and maintenance.
This research to investigate and categorise the causes, types, and forms of date palm trees‘ trunks deformation. Prior to a field survey, a randomly conducted pilot survey to collect data from different areas where date palms are used as landscaping ornamental trees across the Dammam Metropolitan Area (DMA). It applies direct observation, measuring land analysis to develop preliminary understanding of the phenomena; and apply its outcomes on a case study of the Dammam City Seafront (DCS). The result showed that date palm trees‘ trunks deformation has occurred at bottom, middle, and upper parts as results of several factors; and it is as high as almost 97% among investigated trees. However, 58% of deformation symptoms processes have been noticed on bottom third of the date palm trees‘ trunks, near soil surface; and 27.5% of them are in the King Abdullah Seafront Park (KASP).
The study proves statistically that sprinkler and bubbler irrigation systems are of major responsibility for near ground deformation of palm trees‘ trunks, which expands at rate of 3.5 and 3.3 CM/Year.