P80422Speaking of which, this is not the right location!

This unhappy Mexican fan palm may have grown here from seed, as they often do. They are notorious for growing under utility cables because that is where birds drop so many of their seed. Perhaps the seed for this one was dropped by a bird perched on the sign many years ago.

Ironic, isn’t it. Birds tend to perch on utility cables and signs and in trees and everywhere that palms should not be planted. How often do they drop seeds out in the open, where whey will not encroach into something as they grow up? Why can’t they drop palm seeds in places where palm trees would actually be an asset? It happens sometimes, but not as often as palms appear where they are not wanted.

The picture below shows three larger Mexican fan palms that were intentionally planted in the original landscape, with a smaller palm between two of the larger palms. The palm in the first picture is barely visible in front of the sign in the background, and is about the same size as the smaller tree that is more visible between the taller trees.

It is possible and perhaps likely that the two smaller palms were not planted intentionally. It is also possible that someone actually planted them.

It does not matter now. The palm in front of the sign needs to be removed. The removal of all the foliage will not kill it. It will generate new foliage that will again obscure the sign if the tree is not eliminated soon. There is no way to prune the palm to divert growth around the sign. It has only one terminal bud, and is unable to generate another if topped. Palms under utility cables have the same problem. Once they get too close to the cables, they must be removed.

Getting back to the first picture. The shock and awe of the defoliation of the subject Mexican fan palm was likely sufficient distraction to prevent anyone from noticing the queen palm foliage peeking around the right side of the sign. Unlike Mexican fan palms, queen palms rarely grow from seed here, especially in a spot where there are no other queen palms nearby. Yes, someone planted ‘another’ palm in the same spot!P80422+

7 thoughts on “Location – Location -Location!

  1. I just have no love, or even a smidgeon of like, for palm trees. They are messy, provide no real shade, no useful fruit, no real flowers, nothing. They seem to only be useful for rat houses. Bleh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! I totally get it. I do not like them in my neighborhood because they look so out of place with redwoods. I do not like them much in my own garden because they do not make fruit or anything useful. However, I really like them in the right landscape, just for their aesthetic appeal! Seeing Washingtonia filifera, the California fan palm, in the wild outside of Palm Springs was totally awesome!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Were they near 29 Palms, by any chance? I’ve hiked through Joshua Tree in the past and I remember one trail that led to this little palm oasis right there in the middle of the desert!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No, it was Agua Caliente, south of Palm Springs. However, they are the same specie. Unlike the Mexican fan palm, which has a huge and less fragmented range, the California fan palm lives in isolated colonies that have the potential to develop some significant genetic variants. Most have nice fluffy canopies, but none are as billowy and fluffy as those in Agua Caliente. The problem with this species is that it needs warmth, and does not like water. It really looks bad in irrigated landscapes.


  2. Reblogged this on Tony Tomeo and commented:

    Yup; this recycled article, unlike others of the past few weeks, actually does conform to the ‘horriduclture’ meme for Wednesday, even if just accidentally. Since this article posted three years ago, the subject palm has grown almost above the adjacent sign. The trunk, although obtrusive, remains.


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