There are also a few different methods of pollination that are classified as hand pollination. One method is to take stands of flowers from the male tree and tie them directly into the strands of female flowers. This method is effective if the male trees are opening up at the same time as the female trees. Another similar method is to place pollen in cotton balls and tie them into the flower cluster of the female tree. The third method and the one we use is to fill a puffer with pollen and give each flower cluster a few puffs.
Mechanical pollination involves a blower and a long tube. The idea is, while standing on the ground place the end of the tube near the bunches and blow the pollen into the bunches. while this method is faster it does not produce as good of results as hand pollination.
The next step would be to do the first stages of thinning. The first stage will be cutting off excess bunches. In most varieties of dates, you want to have around 15 bunches on the tree. If you have more than the desired amount you can take cut them off, and this will help the remaining bunches grow healthier. Also some bunches are bad even at this early stage and there is no point in keeping them any longer.
The second stage in thinning would be trimming the ends of the bunches to a desired length. Different date varieties have different stem lengths and each has a length where you get the best trade off between quality and quantity. Remember the sooner you can thin the bunches the better overall quality you will get.