Comment of the Day: Can’t Facepalm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: CAN’T FACEPALM “No palm trees please!! Why do people still think it’s a good idea to plant them in a non-tropical, urban location? They provide little to no shade, take forever to grow, and aren’t particularly pretty.” [John, commenting on A New South Downtown ‘Garden District’ of Really Wide Sidewalks]

22 Comment

  • AMEN!

    Oak tress, magnolia trees, and crape myrtles, please. Sycamores are fine, too.

  • Mine shades roughly 30% of my yard…

  • Right on! They also become apartment buildings for roaches.

  • Palms have very small root structures in relation to the size of the tree, one reason they get planted in urban settings with concrete. Many types are also very drought tolerant, and also very resistant to strong winds, a plus when you are planting trees in a downtown “canyon” among highrises. Lack of overarching branch structure means they don’t interfere with power lines.
    You can have an issue with palms aesthetically , but the above is why landscapers like to use them.

  • No one will pay to take care of them, they end up looking like shite and rats live in them. They have a shallow root system and are toppled easily in high winds and their dead fronds fall on power lines even with a slight breeze.

    And crepe myrtles aren’t really a great tree either.

  • Palm trees are no dirtier than any other tree. They all require upkeep and triming. There are two palms that are native to Texas, and several varieties do quite well in our climate. Many are extremely cold tolerant. They are also very architectural, and as Shadeyheightster said, practical for other reasons. Many of us like to cultivate and try new varieties. Any tree that will shade and provide oxygen to our dirty ugly streetscape in Houston should be welcome.

  • I like palm trees personally. Maybe it’s due to growing up in San Diego… But it makes my backyard look/feel more tropical.
    To each their own I guess…

  • During Ike I did t see a downed palm but I saw hundreds (thousands) of downed oaks. Whoever said they topple easily in high winds is wrong. I think we’re close enough to the gulf to have palms. I like them.

  • If Houston isn’t tropical enough for palm trees, then why do they grow so well here? Personally I think they look just fine and if people want to plant them, so be it.

  • I don’t think palms really go with Houston, I would love if Houston went all in on Magnolias and crape myrtles. Aesthetically pretty trees and during the spring blooming season their flowers smell and/or look amazing. They stay fairly contained with good upkeep and trimming, for those worried about power lines. Personally, while I love oaks for yards, I don’t think they make a good street side landscaping tree (roots and size).

  • My biggest issue with palm trees is that they provide almost zero shade. As hot as this city gets, if a tree doesn’t provide shade, then it’s basically worthless.

  • Ask a UH fan about palm trees at Roberston a la Chet Gladchuk.

    I will say there is a certain variety planted from Midtown south to Herman Park. They must be 60 years old and look wonderful.

    They’ll be in my book on tress.

  • I think palm trees are ugly and barely provide enough shade for the mosquitoes.

    In a city this hot, we need beautiful shade trees. Period.

  • I hate palms. I have two that came with my house in the front yard that I’m trying to get rid of. Maintaining them is a complete and utter nightmare. Seems like no one wants them either!

  • I think planting palm tress around a back yard pool is fine but planting alot of palm trees in other areas of the yard make them look tacky and out of place in the Houston metro area.

    I wouldn’t plant a bunch of oak or pine trees around an oceanfront beach house just beacause I like them, they would look out of place.

  • What if this plan goes through and each city block could have a different sort of tree, so then you’d have the palm block, the oak block, the magnolia block, etc.? I’d think that was kind of cool. I don’t know that there’s enough tall construction along the proposed area to make the wind-tunnel effect as strong as it is among some of the high rises and skyscrapers, so root system, etc., shouldn’t be a problem.

  • no way. I love palms. they make me relax. they are magical and survive here.

  • I like palm trees they remind me that we are close to the beach. And any visitors we ever have for March madness / Superbowls / conventions etc from up North would probably be reminded of that as well.

    Overall I think it is a positive for Houston, though I agree overall we have more need shade trees as well.

  • Oak Trees are good.

    To add some actual character to the south of downtown would be a miracle.

  • We’ve lost so many trees in the last half decade that I’ll take any kind.

  • “correction”

    If it wasn’t for the palms trees here in Houston, I would have never moved here. Houston is sub-tropical just like my northwest FL hometown Panama City, and I have to say that Houston has a larger variety of palms than PC. The palm population in PC is more densely populated, but due to Houston’s size, I would say that there are more palms here. Despite the opinions of others, I don’t think that the palms are out of place. I beg to differ with anyone that feels that palms should be restricted to terrains that consist of mountains and beaches. Tell that to Orlando, FL. Hopefully, we all know that FL does not have any mountains, and the closest beach to Orlando is about 45min to an hour away, just like Houston. But no one complains because of the perception of Orlando being in Florida. People will often talk about how palm trees should not be planted in Houston because they’re not native or in their natural habitat. However, they fell to realize that with the exception of the Washingtonia’s (Cal and Mex fan palms) all of the palms in Cal are not native, and as tropical as south FL is, the majority of the palms and plants are not native there either. Florida has 12 native palms, and the only popular native is the Florida Royal. Hawaii is also guilty of having several species of imported palms planted on the it’s islands. In fact, Hawaii only has 1 palm that is native to it’s island, which is the Loulu palm. Therefore, if California, Hawaii, and Florida can import palms to emulate or enhance a tropical paradise; why can’t Texas? Beauty IS in the eye of the beholder, and I personally think that the palms here compliment the city making Houston beautiful. No, it’s nothing like Miami (neither is the majority of the state of Florida for that matter) or even Southern Cal, nor will it ever be like either of those places. Houston is it’s own and offers the best of both worlds, whether you’re a palm enthusiast like myself or if you prefer a traditional shade tree. Never the less, Palms are on the rise in H-Town whether some individuals like it or not. In time, palms will begin to grow wildly in Houston, like the Mex fans and Sabals already do.