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Palm Freeze

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LAist sighed sadly after reading Emily Green’s story about Southland palm trees in the Los Angeles Times earlier this month.

Our beloved mascots are dying out due to old age. Cities can no longer afford to replace them with new seedlings, as Las Vegas casino developers have pushed prices beyond most municipal budgets. Green informs us:

Demand from casinos has forced prices for Canary Island date palms to $350 to $500 per foot of trunk, never mind craning, trucking and planting. Across the palm market, including installation, a 15-foot Canary Island date palm might cost $7,500, a date palm $3,500, a queen palm $1,500, a Mexican fan palm $1,000. To start with trees of decent size, city tree buyers have been turning to oaks, jacarandas and ficus saplings, with price tags in the hundreds, not thousands.

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The new need is for broad-canopy trees that help counterbalance auto emissions. Upon finishing this article, LAist now realizes that the large number of trees in bloom this spring might have been the cumulative result of this new policy, rather than a wet winter.

In the near future, Palms may no longer dominate the Angeleno skyline at dusk. But they will always stand strong in our memories.