Fujairah Collage

Fujairah Collage
Some distinctive landmarks in Fujairah

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Ups and Downs of a Fujairah Date Palm Pruner

If you think your job has its ups and downs spare a thought for the Fujairah date palm pruners.

They spend most of their working hours climbing up and down the emirate’s trees.

The men from the Fujairah Municipality work in teams.

Some do the pruning and others pick up the debris and pack it away in the truck.

The pruner puts a jute sling around the tree and then around his back.

He grabs an extremely sharp knife and often puts this in his shirt or pants as he makes the climb.

By using his hands and his feet he pulls himself quickly to the business area of the date palm.

At the top the sling allows him to lean back and free his hands while he does the pruning and the cleaning.

The pruning involves trimming off the stems which enhances the growth and height of the palm.

Then there’s the clearing of the debris around the part where the dates are developing.

The pruning of the date palms is done twice a year and at particular times so this amounts to a lot of ups and downs to cover the trees of Fujairah.

While dates are naturally pollinated by the wind most date palms in the UAE are now manually pollinated whereby pollen is taken from the male trees and dusted onto the female flowers to produce the fruit.

Members of the Fujairah pruning team (pictured on Mohammed Bin Matar Road, near the Dana Plaza) come from different parts of Asia but a surprising number are from the Pakistani province of Balochistan.

For this energetic and skilful work the date palm pruners get paid a monthly salary of AED 1300.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus—Facebook Page.

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