For more than 8000 years, the date palms, which can reach a height of 30m and can live up to 100 years, have been cultivated in their native India and on the Persian Gulf, where they have long enjoyed a high reputation as valuable fruit producers and magnificent avenue trees. In Africa and Asia this very descriptive palm plant (Palmaceae) is considered as the most important oasis tree, since it can reach the groundwater with its up to 6 meters long roots and due to that serves even in desert areas as an original food supplier and shade donor.
Although 50-100 kg of edible dates are harvested per palm per year, the date palm does not reach its full carrying capacity until between the ages of 30 and 100. Imported dates are always deep-frozen and are thawed only shortly before the sale.
The most important import areas are Egypt, Africa, Arabia, Australia, India, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Greece, California, the Canary Islands, North Africa, Sicily, Spain and Turkey. The main European hub for dates is Marseille.