Trees are vulnerable to ganoderma rot, lethal yellowing disease and leaf spot. . Dates are infinitely good for you and loaded with all kinds of vitamins, and date palms are lovely trees. If you want to start your own date palm, don't make the mistake of using pasteurized dates that have been steamed and preserved with chemicals.Get raw dates, that haven't been tampered with, they are usually available at health food stores. Break open the date and wash several pits. Plant them 1 to 3 inches deep in a starter mix. The time for germination varies, but it could be as long as two months, so don't give up in disgust. Keep the container in a warm place with good humidity. (Placing the entire pot inside a closed plastic bag is a good way to maintain high humidity.) In most plants the seed cotyledon that acts as a reservoir for food usually emerges from the top of the seed and sprouts directly out of the ground-not so with the date. It comes from the bottom and travels through the soil (like a root), coming up many inches later. When this root is about an inch long above the soil, it is time to transplant to a large tub of rich soil so the plant can grow on. In a few weeks the sprout will be joined by another, and presto, fronds! Your date is on its way. Give the plant plenty of sun, good moisture, and occasional feeding to keep it growing.