Difference Between Palm Tree and Coconut Tree (With Table)

If anything more important than humans on earth is, that is trees. They are as much important as humans, if not more. They support the life of other species. Therefore they aren’t necessary for humankind but the life of everything on earth.

Now that we know the importance of the trees, it is useful to distinguish between two different trees that seem to be the same or similar; they are palm trees and coconut trees. 

Palm Tree vs Coconut Tree

The difference between a palm tree and a coconut tree is that the palm tree is taller than the coconut tree (but it mainly depends on the species of palm tree); therefore, they can be differentiated by looking at them. Except this, they also differ in other terms, such as the fruits and flowers they bear, their life span, roots, etc. coconut tree is considered as a palm tree that bears proper coconuts as fruits. The palm tree has more types and grows in different sizes, whereas coconut trees do not have many types and generally grow in a typical size.

The palm tree is a long tree mostly found in a hot climate and has fan-shaped leaves. They go by the scientific name of Arecaceae. There are several types of palm trees on earth. They live a long life of about 150 years, but it can also go down to 100 years, depending upon their species. They bear fruits such as coconut, dates, etc., while mostly they are used for producing palm oil.

The coconut tree is also a long tree that bears coconut fruits; it belongs to the family of palm trees and has most of its characteristics too. They are found in a wet climate where water accessibility is easier. It is also the only living species that fall under the genus cocos. It is also called the tree of life in some regions due to its several benefits and importance; they mostly have a lifespan of 80-50 years.

Comparison Table Between Palm Tree and Coconut Tree

Parameters of ComparisonPalm TreeCoconut Tree
BearPalm oilCoconut
Leaves’ shapeFan-shapedWide shaped
Life span150 years60-80 years
Roots36 inches1 cm
TrunksScaly and texturedLess scale and light color

What is Palm Tree?

A palm tree has leaves shaped like a fan along with a long slender single trunk. Some palm trees are short and therefore have a short and fat trunk with 3-4 or trunks growing together. Some species of palm trees have smooth, slender trunks. There are more than 2000 species of palm trees. Although they can be found in different weather, they are less like to survive in cold climatic conditions. Due to their fan-shaped leaves, they are also called fronds. They bear small flowers that are mostly white and have a star shape. They also bear varieties of fruits that include coconuts, dates, peach, berries, etc.

The tallest species of the palm tree is the wax tree that can grow up to a height of 60 meters. And the shortest is dypsis minuta that are only 12 inches long. In history, palm trees were worshiped by many cultures and have great importance.

There are several uses of a palm tree. The main are the fruits they bear. The second main use of palm trees is oil; palm oil is used in many things due to its useful properties. Other than this, palm trees are also used for the production of wines. Its woods are used for several activities, including manufacturing furniture and building houses, etc.

What is Coconut Tree?

Identification of a coconut tree is quite easy; they have a hard and big coconut. Their trunk is 17 feet long, which is slender and textured mostly. There are more than 150 species of coconuts. These trees require proper sunlight and rainfall for growing. They cannot be grown in an environment with low rainfall or an extremely hot climate. Its fruits are known as a drupe, botanically. They bear two types of flowers, male and female.

There are two categories of coconut trees; they can be dwarf and tall (depending on their species). They have fibrous roots that go deep in the soil to hold the tree strongly.

It is more important due to the coconut it bears. Coconuts have many useful properties; they are used in most human things, from food to beauty products.

There are many uses of this tree, woods are used for industrial and other purposes, and leaves are used by animals for consumption, and in some areas, leaves are used as plates for eating food. Other than this, it is used for the production of coconut oil and coconut milk that have several benefits.

Main Differences Between Palm Tree and Coconut Tree

  1. Both palm and coconut trees bear different types of fruits. The coconut tree bears coconut that has a hard outer covering and is soft from inside and also contains water in it whereas palm trees sometimes bear coconut, but mostly they bear fruits such as dates, but they are mainly known for bearing the palm oil.
  2. Both of the tresses have similar green-colored leaves, but if seen with focus, it is easily noticeable that the leaves of a palm tree are fan-shaped while the leaves of coconut trees are more wide-shaped.
  3. They also differ when it comes to lifespan, the palm tree has a longer life than the coconut tree. They can live up to 150 years, whereas coconut trees can live a maximum of up to 80 years.
  4. Both of them have different types of roots that structure differently from the ground. Roots of coconut trees are deep-rooted to a diameter of 1 cm so that the tree can stand perfectly in the ground, whereas the roots of the palm tree are spread widely on the ground to provide more stability to the tree.
  5. They grow best in different types of weather, for coconut tree weather must be wet or hot tropical, they require proper moisture to grow while palm tree grows best in hot or warm tropical climate they cannot be grown properly in cold weather.
  6. Last but not least, they also have different trunks. If seen properly, the trunk of the palm tree is textured and has lots of scale on it, whereas coconut trees’ trunk has no or less scale and is light in color.


Both of them have similarities, as they bear different types of coconuts. Therefore a tree that has coconut can be either a coconut or palm tree. They are found in similar climatic conditions. They grow in hot or warm and tropical climatic conditions. Both of them have a longer lifespan as compared to other trees. Both of them also come from the same family line. Other than these, they provide all the benefits of other tresses, support life as produce oxygen, bear fruits and flowers, holds soil, use for medicinal activities, etc. They don’t require any special care or treatment and therefore can be easily grown.


  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00543759
  2. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/BF03325956.pdf
  3. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/003072707700900404
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