The Value of Iconic Palm Trees

Palm trees are well known for their countless varieties and gorgeous Tampa landscaping contributions, especially in tropical climates where palm trees can be found in abundance. These trees are also considered very valuable for what they offer to society, like palm oil, coconuts, and their very versatile leaves. But one community in San Fernando, California recently learned just how important their own palm trees are to their community.

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In October 2015, a contractor mistakenly cut down six mature and iconic palm trees that had lined a strip of the Brand Boulevard median in the San Fernando community for decades, sparking immediate outrage among residents and city officials. In fact, the residents were so saddened by the loss of the beautiful trees that they ordered a vigil and decorated the site with grave markers.

Even San Fernando’s elected officials seemed taken aback by the turn of events and insisted that a mistake had been made. So who’s to blame? As with any public error, fingers were pointed in many different directions without anyone able to pin-down exactly how such a major error occurred. Local activists called for a grand turnout at the City Council meeting, and many people insisted that City Hall fix the problem without costing taxpayer’s extra expenses.

The Tampa palm tree landscaping plans for the project that resulted in the slaying of the palm trees did not include anything about cutting trees down. According to the paperwork, the project involved removing turf, shrubs, and outdated irrigations systems to be replaced with weather-based irrigation and 18 new trees, including six new palms. Instead, six were chopped to the ground.

The good news, of course, is that the palms can be replaced and Brand Boulevard can maintain its status as an iconic landmark in the community, but many residents feel that they’ve been robbed of a rich piece of history. Some people have even offered to donate the palm trees from their own yards!