A date tree can live many years however it takes a date palm four to five years to bear fruit. During these early years the quantity of dates produced is less, but commercially viable production could take from 7 - 10 years
There are many reasons for this including pre-harvest. However the main reason is during harvest. If sufficient labour is available during harvest then the majority of fruits are picked at optimal time ensuring optimal quality of fruit. However this is not always possible and some trees / fruits are picked later than ideal timing and that is when skin starts to break.