Tropical Palms: Ancient Crops Facing Modern Problems

Tropical palms have been used by humans since prerecorded time. Tropical palms were tapped for beverages like palm wine. They were used to make cosmetics,  soaps, crafts, clothing, jewelry, toys, instruments, and furniture. Parts of tropical palms were fashioned into weapons, made into medicines, used in rituals, and made into decorations.

Tropical palms also have a significant role in history as a building supply for structures and shelters. One of the oldest uses of tropical palm is, of course, thatching. Palm thatch was and is still used for both temporary and permanent structures. Palm-thatched roofs can be amazingly waterproof when installed by a master thatcher, but natural palm leaf roofs generally only last a few years, depending on the climate.

Tropical Palms: The Oldest Plants Ever Domesticated?

According to the Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety, tropical trees like palms might be the first domesticated agricultural crop. These trees may have been transplanted to villages because of their versatility of uses. These trees are still a major crop to this day.

Downsides Of Large Scale Domestication Of Tropical Palms

Unfortunately, many direct hazards exist in modern palm crop production. Hazards include, injuries, pesticide exposure, respiratory problems, and dermatitis. Indirect, but very real hazards for workers in the industry, include snake bites, parasites, malaria, and enteric diseases.

Now, the major demand on the palm industry has in part led to the spread of the red palm mite. This pest is now attacking several types of Caribbean palm species. According to scientists, palm farmers in the tropical Americas will be seriously affected by this new pest. As of this month, this species’ destruction spans through the Caribbean islands, into South America and Mexico, and up to Southern Florida. Many chemicals were sprayed in these lush tropical areas in order to get a handle on these palm-killing mites.

Endureed Synthetic Palm Is Eco-Friendly And More Stable

Endureed has many synthetic thatch options that are affordable, durable and eco-friendly. Our synthetic thatch also looks and feels like natural thatching. Endureed Regions Series’ Dominica is our Carribean-inspired, synthetic thatch product that looks and feels like leaves from tropical palms. Endureed Viva Series palm thatch is another option for even greater affordability. Our thatch products have a 20-year warranty. They are flame proof. They are resistant to high winds. As an added bonus, the products are 100% recyclable and produced from 40% recycled materials.