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MidtownGuy
January 11th, 2010, 06:03 PM
I love palm trees (I have grown several indoors and right now I am struggling with a bonsai), and so do many people. They came up on an architecture thread where people do not understand how thousands are imported each year for new architectural developments such as resorts and promenades in the Mediterranean.

The only native Palm grove on the European continent is a beautiful grove of pygmy date palms which grow on the east coast of Crete at Vai. It's a beautiful spot that I have been to several times. At Elche, Spain, there is the lagest palm grove in Europe but it was introduced by the North Africans.

Palms give instant appeal to landscaping around architectural developments that want to convey a sense of leisure, vacation, luxury, the tropics, etc.

MidtownGuy
January 11th, 2010, 06:11 PM
The Red Palm Weevil in the Mediterranean Area


Originating in southern Asia and Melanesia, where it is a serious pest of coconuts, this weevil has been advancing westwards very rapidly since the mid 1980s. It had reached the eastern region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1985 (pers. obs.) and afterwards spread to many other areas in the Kingdom (Abozuhairah et al. 1996). The pest was first recorded in the northern United Arab Emirates in 1985, and since then it has spread to almost the entire U.A.E. (El-Ezaby 1998) and to Oman. In Iran, it was recorded in Savaran region in 1990 (Faghih 1996). Then it was discovered in Egypt at the end of November 1992 in El-Hussinia, Sharquiya region (Cox 1993). In 1994, it had been captured in the south of Spain (Barranco et al. 1996) and in 1999 had been found in Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority Territories (Kehat 1999).

The cause of the high rate of spread of this pest is human intervention, by transporting infested young or adult date palm trees and offshoots from contaminated to uninfected areas.


In this article we present the current situation of the red palm weevil in Spain, Egypt and the Near East, to demonstrate the seriousness of this pest and the high risk of its arrival in other Mediterranean countries. In these countries, the two main palm species concerned are Phoenix dactylifera and P. canariensis, the main crop and ornamental species in the Mediterranean area, but it could attack some others ornamental palms (Barranco et al. 2000). Our purpose is to emphasise the need for urgent and strong prophylactic measures to avoid new catastrophes and for the reinforcement of co-operative international research against this pest.
The red palm weevil is a member of Coleoptera: Curculionidae. The male and female adults are large reddish brown beetles about 3 cm long and with a characteristic long curved rostrum; with strong wings, they are capable of undertaking long flights.


Damage to palms is produced mainly by the larvae. Adult females lay about 200 eggs at the base of young leaves or in wounds to the leaves and trunks; the grubs feed on the soft fibers and terminal bud tissues. They reach a size of more than 5 cm before pupation. Except just before pupating, they move towards the interior of the palm making tunnels and large cavities. They can be found in any place within the palm, even in the very base of the trunk where the roots emerge.


Pupation occurs generally outside the trunk, at the base of the palms. The larva pupates in a cocoon made of brown dried palm fibres.
Overlapping generations with all life stages can be present within the same palm tree. Generally the adult weevils present in a palm will not move to another one while they can feed on it.


Usually the damage caused by the larvae is visible only long after infection, and by the time the first symptoms of the attack appear, they are so serious that they generally result in the death of the tree. This late detection of the presence of the weevil constitutes a serious problem in the fight against the pest and in any attempt to guarantee pest-free status in adult trees. Despite research carried out so far, no safe techniques for early detection of the pest have been devised.


In Spain, very soon after the red palm weevil killed the first Phoenix canariensis in some gardens of Almuñecar, the relevant authorities initiated various actions to combat the pest.


Intensive chemical treatments have been used to protect the Phoenix palms and to try to cure affected trees. Despite the difficulty in operating in the public gardens environment, foliage spraying has been conducted with various insecticides: Fenitrotion, Clorpirifos, Diazinon or Metidation. Preventive treatment of all the palms, even healthy ones, has been repeated once a month outside the tourist season.


Insecticides such as carbaril and imidacloprid have been injected several times and in various places all around the stems of palms. Simultaneously, a programme of mass trapping using aggregation pheromone and semi-synthetic kairomone has been initiated (Esteban-Durán et al. 1998). But despite all these efforts, more than one thousand Phoenix have been killed. In an area that extends from Motril to Nerja, in the Mediterranean coast of Granada and Málaga, the weevil is still present and has spread to villages close to the initial points of infection.


There is every evidence to suggest that the first weevils were introduced into Spain from adult palms imported from Egypt. Before the arrival of the weevil in the south of Spain, Egypt was the westernmost place where the red palm weevil has been recorded. Furthermore, as the importation of palms from Egypt was not prohibited, Egypt has been the main source of supply of ornamental adult Phoenix palms to satisfy the very substantial demand that exists in all the coastal cities of Spain and, more generally, of southern Europe.


In Egypt itself, the introduction of the red palm weevil was caused by an importation of offshoots from the United Arab Emirates. At the beginning, the extension of this pest into Egypt was restricted to a limited number of locations in two northeastern provinces. In 1995, three years after its first discovery in Egypt, an Egyptian agriculture official considered that the red palm weevil had been eradicated (Ferry 1996). Unfortunately, this announcement was erroneous. In the two provinces where the pest was first recorded, the red palm weevil continues to infect and kill new date palms year after year, despite all the efforts developed to combat it.


Various techniques have been used to try to control the red palm weevil (pheromone traps) and to save infested date palms (chemical control by pouring pesticides into the trunk and injection of entomopathogenic nematodes (Shamseldean 1994)). Despite good results of these techniques in the laboratory, they are not efficient enough in the field to succeed in eliminating red palm weevil. The reason for this is probably the great difficulty in reaching all life stages of the weevil inside an adult palm tree, even with intensive and repeated stem injections or perfusions.



Furthermore, such intensive activity is impossible for economic and practical reasons in places with a large number of date palms.
In Egypt, as well as in the south of Spain, the elimination of infested trees has not been applied systematically as soon as the pest were detected. The possibility of saving these trees and avoiding serious economic consequences as a result of their elimination, and the practical difficulties of carrying out this operation have unfortunately limited or delayed the destruction of infested trees. The affected trees have then constituted an important focus for further spread of the red palm weevil.


At present the situation in Egypt is very worrying. Although a small number of date palms are affected, red palm weevils have been recorded in each of the Delta administrative districts, as well as in some orchards along the road between Cairo and Alexandria and even in the capital itself. This extension is certainly partly due to the difficulty of implementing a ban on the exchange or transplanting of offshoots or ornamental adult palms as a rigorous prophylactic measure. Although the red palm weevil does not usually fly very much in the orchards where it is present, it probably flies to new orchards when, after killing all the existing date palms, it does not find enough food.


In Israel, early detection of the pest, when the number of affected trees was still very limited, resulted very quickly in the establishment of a program of integrated pest management. Substantial financial and human resources have been dedicated to avoiding the spread of the pest. Each new affected tree is immediately eliminated. More that 4000 pheromone traps have been located at a high density in 450 ha date plantations along the Jordan Valley. The incorporation of the systemic pesticide Confidor in the irrigation water has also been used. Despite all these efforts, newly infested trees are still being recorded, three years after the first detection of the pest, and red palm weevils are still being caught in traps.

Conclusions
Even when important and costly means are dedicated to combat the red palm weevil, an efficient solution to fight against it when it first arrives is still missing


However, the main ornamental tall palms planted in the gardens and in the streets of the Mediterranean coast cities are date palms. Thousands of them are imported from Egypt each year directly or indirectly into Spain and other European countries. These palms must have a phytosanitary passport but in specimens such as adult date palms, a large quantity of hidden insects and diseases, can evidently remain undetected, even after very careful phytosanitary scrutiny, and this is, of course, the case red palm weevil eggs and larvae.


In response to the appearance of the red palm weevil in the south of Spain, the Spanish government promulgated a decree in 1996 forbidding the importation of palms from countries where pests of the group of Rhynchophorus have been recorded. Four years later this decree was modified, and one of the consequences has been that importation of date palms from Egypt is no longer illegal. This modification to the decree was probably made partly because adult date palms were still arriving in Spain from neighboring countries, with the disappearance of the border controls between European Union member countries.


The market for adult date palms from Egypt is very lucrative. It also seems difficult to convince decision-makers and individuals to wait until specimens grown locally became tall enough for landscaping, instead of asking for palms from Egypt. For these two reasons, we think that there is a need for phytosanitary regulations at a European and North African country level to forbid totally the importation of date palms. Otherwise disasters such as the one that has occurred in Almuñecar or, worse still, the one that continues to develop in Egypt, are probable in other places around the Mediterranean. Such disasters could occur in the coastal cities where Phoenix palms constitute one of the characteristic landscape elements; from there, it could extend to the important inland date palm groves of North Africa. It could be also a catastrophe in Elche where the date grove has been nominated as a World Heritage Site. We consider also that European research centers should contribute to help all countries affected by red palm weevil to find a solution to combat this pest.

MidtownGuy
January 11th, 2010, 06:20 PM
I should correct, there is also a species of dwarf fan palm indigenous to Europe, on the Iberian coast but it is not the date palm or windmill palm used in most architectural landscaping.

MidtownGuy
January 11th, 2010, 06:25 PM
Seed of extinct date palm sprouts after 2000 years


It has five leaves stands 14 inches high and is nicknamed Methuselah. It looks like an ordinary date palm seedling but for UCLA- educated botanist Elaine Solowey it is a piece of history brought back to life. Planted on Jan. 25 the seedling growing in the black pot in Solowey's nursery on this kibbutz in Israel's Arava desert is 2000 years old -- more than twice as old as the 900-year-old biblical character who lent his name to the young tree. It is the oldest seed ever known to produce a viable young tree.



The seed that produced Methuselah was discovered during archaeological excavations at King Herod's palace on Mount Masada near the Dead Sea. Its age has been confirmed by carbon dating. Scientists hope that the unique seedling will eventually yield vital clues to the medicinal properties of the fruit of the Judean date tree which was long thought to be extinct.
Solowey originally from San Joaquin (Fresno County) teaches at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies at Kibbutz Ketura where she has nurtured more than 100 rare or near-extinct species back to life as part of a 10-year project to study plants and herbs used as ancient cures.


In collaboration with the Louis L. Borick Natural Medicine Center at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem named in honor of its Southern California- based benefactor Solowey grows plants and herbs used in Tibetan Chinese and biblical medicine as well as traditional folk remedies from other cultures to see whether their effectiveness can be scientifically proved.
In experiments praised by the Dalai Lama for example Borick Center Director Sarah Sallon has shown that ancient Tibetan cures for cardiovascular disease really do work.


The San Francisco Chronicle was granted the first viewing of the historic seedling which sprouted about four weeks after planting. It has grown six leaves but one has been removed for DNA testing so scientists can learn more about its relationship to its modern-day cousins.


The Judean date is chronicled in the Bible Quran and ancient literature for its diverse powers -- from an aphrodisiac to a contraceptive -- and as a cure for a wide range of diseases including cancer malaria and toothache.

MidtownGuy
January 11th, 2010, 06:33 PM
Date Palm : Phoenix Dactylifera


The date palm is undoubtedly my favorite type of palm. It is amazing. The date palm has been called the tree of life because is is so useful.

"The Phoenix Dactylifera is one of the world’s oldest trees. It has been grown for thousands of years in hot, dry, desert regions throughout the world. It is an important multi*purpose tree in the Middle East, Asia and North Africa. The Date palm tree is a holy symbol. It was historically mentioned in the Bible, the Koran and other religious books. Many cultures are based on this tree. It has been called “the tree of life”. The real Date palm can provide all life necessities: food, medicine, shelter, fuel, building materials and materials for weaving and basket making. It is a symbol of fertility and hospitality in many countries."

"The Date palms are also very popular as ornamental trees around the world. They thrive in desert, tropical and subtropical areas with heat and full sun. They can grow to a height of 80-100 feet and can live for more than 200 years. They have a beautiful thick canopy of bluish-green pinnate leaves."
http://datepalmtree.net/
---

The true fruit bearing date palm (Medjool) should not be confused with other related species such as the Canary Island Date Palm, whose fruits are smaller and not eaten.

MidtownGuy
January 11th, 2010, 07:06 PM
"Javier Segura is the owner of the Alicante-based nursery Palmasur. The company comprises 10 ha of cultivation in the open and 8,000 m2 of greenhouses; they produce more than 100 different species of palm trees. Segura describes the red palm weevil (in Spanish it is called the picudo rojo) as “a complete disaster”, not only for Spain but for the entire world. The insect originates from Sri Lanka and was then detected in India and Egypt. At the beginning of the nineties many Egyptian palm trees were imported by boat into Spain, the local authorities were unaware of the risks. It was a question of money; big Phoenix dactylifera from Egypt with trunks up to 8 m cost only $50 against $148 for a Spanish tree.

In May 2007 the EU promulgated a series of regulations in order to avoid the introduction and the spread of this pest within the Community. According to Segura it hasn’t had a single positive effect: “Eleven years ago our government decreed that the importation of Egyptian palms was forbidden. Four years later this decree was modified, and at this moment importation of date palms from Egypt is no longer illegal. This modification to the decree was probably partly made because adult date palms were still arriving in Spain from neighbouring countries as a result of the disappearance of border controls between EU member countries. Today Egyptian palm trees must be cultivated in a registered and supervised pest free area. Once they are imported into Spain they must be supervised for another 12 months."

http://www.floracultureinternational.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=340&Itemid=7&ed=38

londonlawyer
January 11th, 2010, 08:13 PM
I love palm trees too -- especially royal palms and coconut palms.

Semi-tropical ones add to the landscape of Mediterranean cities like Barcelona, Lisbon, Rome and cities like SF that have a Mediterranean climate.

MidtownGuy
January 11th, 2010, 08:40 PM
Oh yes, I love the royal palm too. You see them in Florida and Cuba a lot but coconut palms and royal palms require lots of water so you won't see them in Med cities which are very dry for much of the year. Coconut palms are the second most useful type of palm beside the date palm and often have that dramatic curving trunk. Vibrant green pinnates too! (date palms have a more bluish-green tinge)
I have always been drawn to palm trees and started learning to distinguish the various types as a child, when I first visited family in Florida. Most people have no clue to tell one from the other.

Being that it's freezing cold outside, just talking about palm trees makes me warm and happy.

MidtownGuy
January 11th, 2010, 08:56 PM
This is a palm tree umbrella I designed last spring.:D
---
I deleted the picture of my design. It seems a very childish and bitter Dr. T. has taken the low road and decided to dis the artwork I wanted to share, in a nasty way. Now I know why I don't want to share things here anymore like photos or artwork.

BrooklynRider
January 11th, 2010, 09:33 PM
That is hot! Very nice. Is it selling?

Derek2k3
January 11th, 2010, 09:39 PM
That's awesome.

Reminded me of her hair...

http://i.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01555/gaga_1555578c.jpg

MidtownGuy
January 11th, 2010, 09:42 PM
Thanks! Yes, it's selling well, but the number one seller is the giant sunflower. You should see the other ones in that collection: gerbera, chrysanthemum, etc.
I license umbrella and bag designs to an accessories company, and I received my first royalty check for this one in October.:)

MidtownGuy
January 11th, 2010, 10:03 PM
For others in love with palm trees, you can visit an awesome forum called PalmTalk (http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?#) where you'll be amazed by all of the information there, and the enthusiasm of the members!

I've been registered as MidtownGuy there since '08 but I don't really post, just lots of good reading. They have even organized group trips where they travel to locales with rich palm diversity.

antinimby
January 12th, 2010, 01:00 PM
I was walking around Midtown a couple of weeks ago on the east side somewhere probably (don't remember the exact location) but I saw a small ornamental palm in one of those large but neglected sidewalk planters that are usually full of cigarette butts.

It was scraggly looking and you can tell it was barely hanging onto life but it was still very much alive. I found it amazing to see that.

I should've taken a picture of it. Curious to see if it will make it past winter.

MidtownGuy
January 12th, 2010, 01:24 PM
It would be quite possible, if it is sheltered well enough to create a microclimate and we don't get too many days below the 20's! Midtown itself can be said to have somewhat of a microclimate.

A couple weeks ago, I also saw a potted palm still outside of a restaurant and it looked like it might survive.

In fact, many palm enthusiasts are able to maintain palm trees of hardier species in areas that you really wouldn't expect if they are protected in winter. Places way north! The vast majority of people don't have the patience or knowledge though, so you hardly ever see it being done.
Some people even wrap Christmas tree lights around the trunk at close intervals to raise the temperature for them.

Creating microclimates is the way professional gardens such as the famous gardens at Tresco, in the Scilly Islands of Britain, are able to maintain subtropical species. They use terraces and stuff like that to break the winter wind off the sea which would otherwise shred the pinnates, and have ways of protecting more delicate species through the colder temperatures.

MidtownGuy
January 12th, 2010, 01:26 PM
:)This thread needs lots of juicy pictures of palms to make it pop. I will try to add some.

MidtownGuy
January 12th, 2010, 02:09 PM
The actual name is Arecaceae or Palmae.

They are a family of flowering plants.

According to Wiki, right now we know of 202 genera of palm and 2600 species.

Most palms grow in the tropics where they are abundant like nowhere else.

It is estimated that only 130 palm species grow naturally beyond the tropics, mostly in the subtropics.

Here is a nice cross section of a palm shoot. I think it looks amazing inside.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/0/08/Palm_shoot.jpg/800px-Palm_shoot.jpg
photo credit: creative commons from wiki, more information here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Palm_shoot.jpg)

ZippyTheChimp
January 12th, 2010, 08:21 PM
A palm tree thread. Cool.

Ancient Egyptian architectural columns often featured floral capitals. Besides the lotus, which represented Upper Egypt, and the papyrus, Lower Egypt, palm leaves, which represented fertility and longevity, were used.

The Temple of Horus at Edfu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edfu#Edfu_Temple_of_Horus)

http://buffaloah.com/a/virtual/egypt/edfu/crtyd/image/03.jpg

http://buffaloah.com/a/virtual/egypt/edfu/hypo/image/5.jpg

MidtownGuy
January 13th, 2010, 09:12 AM
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4018/4271701446_9beaf3504a_o.jpg
Edfu Temple is stunning, I was there in 1999 and I still have my ticket stub:D

The following view is from our hotel in Aswan, not far from Edfu. I've been trying to scan and organize all the photos I took in Egypt because it was before I had a digital camera. I have been meaning to return with a modern camera.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2698/4271701516_ff2084e4d9_o.jpg

Egypt is a palm tree lover's heaven.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2738/4270956609_3d00458d50_o.jpg

^Date Palms are the most numerous but you'll also see dozens of other kinds, such as these

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4064/4270956701_a869788e8f_o.jpg

royals which are planted along a path at Mena House, the swank hotel within walking distance to the Pyramids. This is where I suggest anyone visiting Cairo should stay.

MidtownGuy
January 13th, 2010, 09:32 AM
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4009/4271031551_924b14472f_o.jpg

The pics from Egypt reminded me I also had this photo of a lonely palm tree among ruins on the island of Delos. This date palm is said to mark the place that Apollo was born.

MidtownGuy
January 13th, 2010, 09:42 AM
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4048/4271798906_cfd40a4e28_o.jpg

Palms of many varieties in a park in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro.

MidtownGuy
January 13th, 2010, 09:46 AM
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2738/4271809282_5d25dbaf89_o.jpg
Lovely palms at Christmas time in Miami.

MidtownGuy
January 13th, 2010, 09:54 AM
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4069/4271076185_4923a8a75e_o.jpg

Palermo is bursting with palms. I did not realize how many until I visited. The whole city of Palermo is very lushly planted with gardens and parks.

MidtownGuy
January 13th, 2010, 10:09 AM
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2710/4271110801_1c2d0e5a15_o.jpg
Palms in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, outside of some Christian church where lots of people were arriving as we passed by.

MidtownGuy
January 13th, 2010, 10:15 AM
Self destructing palm tree found in Madagascar


A new species of palm tree which flowers spectacularly once in its long life and then dies has been discovered in Madagascar.
The chance finding of the mystery palm which towers more than 60-feet high has astonished botanists.

The exact location of the small cluster of trees is being kept a secret and seeds are being carefully harvested so the palm can be grown at botanic gardens around the world to ensure its survival.

The tree has a strange lifecycle when after growing for as long as 50 years and to an immense height, the stem tip develops a giant inflorescence and bursts into branches of hundreds of tiny flowers.

Each flower is capable of being pollinated and developing into fruit and drips with nectar attracting swarms of insects and birds. But the effort of the colourful display and the production of fruit is so taxing that the nutrient reserves of the palm run dry as soon as it fruits and the entire tree collapses and dies.


The tree was found by accident by Xavier Metz, a Frenchman who manages a cashew plantation in Madagascar. He and his family were walking in a remote area in the north-west of the island when they stumbled across the giant palm and the huge pyramidal bunch of flowers sprouting out of the tip.


They had never seen anything like it before and took photographs which eventually reached Dr John Dransfield in Britain.


Dr Dransfield, one of the world's leading authorities on palms, said: "I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw the images posted on the web.
"Seeing it was one of the most exciting moments in my entire career. This tree is a new genus and a new species - an evolutionary line not seen in Madagascar before. "


Dr Dransfield, co-author of The Palms of Madagascar and an Honorary Research Fellow of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, added: "There are 2,500 species of palm and only a handful flower and die. It is certainly the first self destruct palm we have found on Madagscar."


"Ever since we started work on the palms of Madagascar in the 1980s, we have made discovery after discovery - new species and new genera - but to me this is probably the most exciting of them all."


The palm will be called Tahina spectabilis which is Malagasy for blessed or to be protected. Tahina is the name of one of Xavier Metz's daughters.
Madagascar's native palms are of enormous economic and biological importance used for food, house building, crafts and medicines, and most are found in no other part of the world


When material from the palm finally reached the Herbarium at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, the details of the flowers and inflorescence suggested it was a new, undescribed species.


Leaf fragments were sent to the Jodrell laboratory at Kew for DNA analysis, where it was confirmed, that the palm was not just a new species but an entirely new genus within the palm tribe Chuniophoeniceae.
There are only three other known genera in the tribe, scattered across Arabia, Thailand and China and the palm is from an evolutionary line not previously known to exist in Madagascar and mystery surrounds how it got there.


Details of the find are published today in the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, the world's oldest biological society where the tree was officially named for the first time.


The tree flowered and fruited before botanists had a chance to react but miraculously a second tree in the same area flowered last September and the fruits are due to fall this month.


Although there are known to be bigger palms the Madagascar find is believed to be the most massive with a huge trunk which towers over 60-feet high (60 feet) and fan leaves which are 16-feet in diameter - making it among the largest known in flowering plants. The palm is so massive that it can even be seen in Google Earth.


When Dr Dransfield travelled out to meet the tree's discoverers, Xavier and Nathalie Metz, it took three days travel in a 4x4 vehicle to reach the remote area where it grows.


It was concealed at the foot of a limestone outcrop in the rolling hills and flatlands of the Analalava district which is dry for eight months a year and has a mean annual temperature of 27°C. But when the rains come in January the area of deep fertile soil is flooded.


Dr Dransfield couldn't believe that the enormous palm had never been discovered before and concluded that its life-cycle must lengthy for the extremely rare flowering and death sequence to have never been detected.
He estimates the palm was between 35-50 years old when it burst into flower for the first and only time.


"We are hoping to harvest seed from the palm that will be ripened slowly in dozens of botanic gardens. They will also be sent to arboretums and schools in Madagscar. Some seeds will be sold through an agency and the profits funnelled back to the villagers," he said.


"If we are successful we can persuade the villagers that the trees have value and they will help conserve it.


"There are thousands of seeds but only a small portion will be harvested the rest will be left to fend for themselves."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/3322162/Self-destructing-palm-tree-found-in-Madagascar.html

MidtownGuy
January 13th, 2010, 10:20 AM
A picture of the self-destructing palm. This one is not my own photo, I have never been to Madagasgar but it is definitely on my list!

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/01_03/PalmTree2PA_468x626.jpg
The photo came from the Daily Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-508861/Discovered-The-self-destructing-palm-tree-flowers-100-years.html).

MidtownGuy
January 13th, 2010, 10:25 AM
Snowbird’s Return, to a Lounge With a View

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/04/20/nyregion/20palm_xl.jpg

Some things are so predictable. The ball falls in Times Square. The swallows go back to Capistrano. The bulls run in Pamplona. And No. 15 returns to New York.

No. 15 is a palm tree that stands about seven feet tall and is slender and green. It spends the winter in Florida, on a tree farm owned by someone who was a Marlboro Man in cigarette ads in the 1960s.


Its home in Manhattan is at 230 Fifth, a lounge near Madison Square Park. No. 15 took up its position there around noon on Sunday, after three days of bumping along Interstate 95 in a tractor-trailer. There were also two elevator rides and some pulling, shoving, dragging, rolling and squeezing.
“It looks better than last year,” said Steven A. Greenberg, the financier and night life investor who owns 230 Fifth (http://www.230-fifth.com/).


No. 15 — and about 60 other trees that were unloaded on Sunday morning after the 1,315-mile trip from Florida — completed the bar’s spring-and-summer makeover, taking the places of evergreens that occupy the roof the rest of the year, even in the cold-weather months when the 14,000-square-foot terrace is closed and the customers are confined to the 8,000-square-foot indoor section of the lounge.


The transformation happened about eight hours after last call at 4 a.m., and about four hours before the bar reopened at 4 p.m. Mr. Greenberg, whose mantra is “retail is detail,” wanted precision — he had posted diagrams with a layout showing which trees belonged where, and the trees had been labeled with coat-check tags. The numbers on the tags were supposed to correspond to the numbers on the diagrams.
The problem was, some of the numbers had faded away in the Florida sun. But the tag on No. 15 was bright and legible. To the species-conscious, No. 15 is a Phoenix roebelenii. It has an alias: pygmy date palm. Mr. Greenberg discovered No. 15 at a shop at 28th Street and Avenue of the Americas that is owned by the onetime Marlboro Man, Chris King.
That was in April 2006, soon after 230 Fifth had opened. “When September came around, I said, ‘What do I do with these palms?’ ” Mr. Greenberg recalled.


He considered trying to park them for the winter with the home-industry merchants who lease showrooms at the building at 230 Fifth Avenue, known as the New York Market Center (http://www.230fifthave.com/index.php). “I was going to let each of them take care of a tree for the winter and reward them with a bottle of Champagne,” he said.


He had second thoughts about that idea after a conversation with Mr. King. “I said, ‘How much would you charge me to take the trees to Florida and bring them back?’ These trees typically retail for $500 or so. He said $250 each. I said, ‘That’s a bargain, I don’t have to buy them the next year.’ We numbered them, we sent them down to Florida and the next spring they came back.”


But the numbers had been removed, Mr. Greenberg said. That led to the current method of tying the numbered coat-check tags onto the trees with wire.


The trip to New York began on Thursday, when No. 15 and the other palms were loaded onto the truck at the farm in Homestead, Fla., south of Miami. Mr. King said the tractor-trailer arrived in Manhattan at 3 a.m. Sunday and stopped at his shop to drop off some other plants. Then the truck headed to 230 Fifth, where the palms were taken off the truck and lined up on the sidewalk on West 27th Street.


From there, No. 15 went on an elevator ride to the basement. Then two waiters, Juan Reyes and Pedro Sotarriba, did a push-and-drag maneuver to move it across the basement to another elevator, because the first one does not go to the 21st floor, where the bar is located, and the palms could not go into the building the way Mr. Greenberg’s customers do, through the front entrance.


No. 15 went into the second elevator and emerged onto the roof less than two minutes later. Two busboys, Tamding Norbu and Leksang Khuzor, carried it 120 feet to the place indicated on the diagram.
Its planter was waiting, and with the lounge’s manager, Kevin Stafford, they lifted it and dropped it into the planter.


It did not fit. Mr. King had apparently repotted it, Mr. Stafford said, and the new plastic pot was a fraction of an inch larger than the planter. Mr. Stafford said this was a job for Frank Montilla, the lounge’s engineer.
Mr. Montilla brought over a power saw and sliced off a seven-inch piece from the edge of the plastic pot. No. 15 dropped into the box. Then John Benedetti, the executive chef at 230 Fifth, tilted it, and Mr. Norbu slipped off the black band that had held the leaves in a bundle. They unfurled, and Mr. Norbu looked pleased.


“Done,” he said as he padded off to find No. 1, No. 51 and No. 54. “Looks great.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/20/nyregion/20palm.html

Dr.T
January 13th, 2010, 05:17 PM
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4002/4267864554_bda5c76373_o.jpg

This is a palm tree umbrella I designed last spring.:D


It seems a "little creative" work :cool:. I like more the work of artists who design in Murcia. They "export" their palms to Madrid, Barcelona, Miami, ... They are also architects and design skyscrapers, ... you Know: Spaniards have much creative talent :D, ... Santiago Calatrava also makes sculptures and paints pictures, ... all the Spanish we are a "little Picasso":rolleyes:.


http://www.muher.com/obra_muher/video_escultura_palmera.html

BrooklynRider
January 15th, 2010, 07:04 AM
Some of my favorites are;

Christmas Palms

http://panpalms.com/img/Christmas.jpg

Royal Palms

http://www.zinnysworld.com/images/royal%20palm%201.jpg

Coconut Palm (very Caribbean)

http://www.knowphuket.com/Photos/full_tree_coconut_palm.jpg

and, my favorite, the Date Palm

http://washaw.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/_8s2.jpg

These are manicured Date Palms:

http://www.landscapelightingworld.com/v/blog/uploaded_images/canary-date-palm-healthy-737769.jpg

BrooklynRider
January 15th, 2010, 07:09 AM
http://bentleycellars.com/db2/00200/bentleycellars.com/_uimages/12-04-04-22FurnaceCreekInn.jpg

MidtownGuy
January 17th, 2010, 01:13 PM
Beautiful palm pics, BR! Thanks for adding them. Date palms are my favorite too!
The Chilean Wine Palm is another beautiful palm which resembles the Date Palm somewhat, except it can grow even taller with a more massive trunk.
I don't have a good photo of one, unfortunately.

Codex
January 17th, 2010, 03:44 PM
Very Interesting thread MidtownGuy ;) :)

Fabrizio
January 17th, 2010, 04:46 PM
As part of my act, I did a fan dance with palms. I will post photos from the 1964 World's Fair.

Codex
January 19th, 2010, 02:17 PM
As part of my act, I did a fan dance with palms. I will post photos from the 1964 World's Fair.

Were they windmill palms, are were they a more exotic variety. :p

Be careful Fabrizio, you could give yourself a nasty palm tree related rash.

MidtownGuy
January 20th, 2010, 05:17 PM
Very Interesting thread MidtownGuy ;) :)
Thanks codex.

The following are palm trees in Rhodes.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4052/4291671814_ce321474bb_o.jpg

The moat surrounding the Old Town is nicely planted with palms as are the gardens surrounding the Knight's Castle.
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4066/4290932843_97c0b8d053_o.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4057/4290932913_be62d54ac2_o.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2562/4291672230_6f8295df34_o.jpg
^palms at Kallithea, where there is a spa built by the Italians and recently restored.
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4067/4291672348_10009cd977_o.jpg
^A happy looking windmill palm in the village of Lindos.

MidtownGuy
January 20th, 2010, 05:54 PM
This article is from 06 but it's a very interesting read.

A Miami Emblem Is Sacrificed for Shade

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2006/01/21/national/palm.184.jpg
MIAMI, Jan. 21 - A renaissance is under way on Biscayne Boulevard, the central artery of downtown Miami, where derelict motels and strip malls are being tenderly restored and scruffy neighborhoods are striving for cachet. But a defining element is about to vanish: the royal palm trees that have lined the street for decades, making clear that this is not Hartford or Detroit, but the otherworldly subtropics.

Along several miles of the street, the tall, trim royals are being replaced with bushier live oaks, which planners say will provide much-needed shade and beautify the heavily traveled street. Some residents say the palm trees are not only ugly but also dangerous, threatening passing cars when they shed their cumbersome fronds.
"These are trees that look like telephone poles when they grow up," said Robert Flanders, whose civic group, the Upper Eastside Miami Council, supports the removal.


Fighting words, one may think, for Miami, where the royal palm is emblazoned on the city seal, and palm trees, as common here as the sun, figure into virtually every advertisement for the place. Yet Biscayne Boulevard is not the only spot where palms are losing favor. Miami and the surrounding county are rethinking their landscape philosophy and embracing thick-trunked, leafy shade trees over the symbolic palm.
Planners say that the region's tree canopy is woefully deficient, and that planting more shade-providing species will make Miami prettier, cleaner and more pedestrian-friendly. A study in 1996 found that only about 10 percent of Miami-Dade County was covered by tree canopy - and that was before a disease known as citrus canker and last year's hurricanes wiped out hundreds of thousands of shade trees.


Most palm trees withstood the high winds of Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma, making their dwindling popularity all the more puzzling. Some private landowners, like Skip Stoltz, a developer in Palm Beach County, are planting only palms after losing dozens of hardwood trees in the storms.


"The shade trees are much less expensive, but it doesn't matter," said Mr. Stoltz, who said he would spend up to $100,000 replacing toppled trees with palms. "It's a very good investment. The idea is you don't want to have a huge cleanup bill every time there are 100-mile-per-hour winds."
Miami and Miami-Dade County officials said they were not moving forward haphazardly, but cataloging which shade trees survived the storms and which succumbed. The Ficus benjamina, a stately but shallow-rooted weakling, proved especially vulnerable, along with the laurel oak, the black olive and the mahogany.


"Let's not have them put more Ficus benjamina out there so we can go through this same thing again," said Alyce Robertson, director of the county's new community image office.


Mayor Manny Diaz of Miami has started a "canopy campaign" to plant shade trees in places that are barren or too heavy on palms. Miami-Dade County, meanwhile, is planning a "tree summit" to decide which species to invest heavily in. The idea is not to overshadow the palm population but to create more harmony between palms and other trees, Ms. Robertson said.
"If you come here as a tourist in January you certainly want to see palm trees," she said. "But in July in South Florida, you don't want to stand under a palm tree. Let's have a balance here, folks."


Even the palm-obsessed - and they are legion here - agree that Miami needs more thoughtful landscape planning. From its founding in 1896, the city's look has been characterized by what goes up fastest and makes the most money. Developers felled countless shade trees as Miami became a resort town and planted inexpensive types of palms - which could be plunked full grown in front of hotels and condominiums and screamed "paradise" - willy-nilly.


"They want trees that are cheap, easy to carry around and grow fast," said Steve Stern, who owns a nursery called Exotic Palms in Homestead. "Other trees do not provide immediate gratification."


No matter that the palms' coconuts become missiles during hurricanes and their fronds plummet to the ground when passers-by least expect it.
Mr. Stern is among many for whom Miami's palm trees are a source of intense civic pride, a unique asset it can flaunt to the rest of the country. Los Angeles has palms, but its most common type, the Washingtonia robusta, are spindlier than Miami's. John Updike (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/u/john_updike/index.html?inline=nyt-per) once described the palms there as "isolate, like psychopaths." The palms in Las Vegas are imported, as are the rows of date palms along the Embarcadero in San Francisco.

The royal palms of Biscayne Boulevard came under threat at least once before, in 2003, when the parking authority in Miami wanted to uproot about 40 of them to make room for an auto race. The plan was scrapped because of protests. But even earlier, in 2001, the county drew up a "street tree master plan" that advocated planting fewer palms.
"While palms are aesthetically pleasing and look 'tropical,' " the plan says, "they do not provide the same environmental benefits, walkable streets, or lower ambient temperatures as hardwood shade trees."


Ms. Robertson, the community image director, said that technically, palms were not even trees. "They are a monocot as opposed to a dicot," she wrote in an e-mail message, referring to the fact that the trunks of palms do not thicken with age and their vascular systems are different than those of, say, maple trees. An ideal balance may be planting shade trees along sidewalks and palm trees as "accents," she said, perhaps in medians.


That is in the plan for Biscayne Boulevard, which is getting a new median as part of the beautification project. Mr. Flanders, of the Upper Eastside Miami Council, said any new palms would not require as much water as the royals, natives of the Everglades that he said were too thirsty for the space.


But Elvis Cruz, a community activist who opposes the removal of the royal palms, said planting shade trees along the boulevard would hurt businesses by making them less visible. He also said it was a "falsehood" that palm trees did not provide shade.


"I've stood in the shade of many a palm tree in my lifetime," said Mr. Cruz, who later sent more statements by e-mail in defense of royal palms along Biscayne Boulevard. (Among them: "If a tourist were to come here and see a Biscayne Boulevard of oak trees, she might say, 'Why did I come here? I could have stayed in New Jersey.' ")


The royal palms, about 80 strong, will be sent not to the mulch pile but to Watson Island, a desolate strip between downtown Miami and South Beach. The island is being redeveloped with luxury hotels, a spa and a mega-yacht marina - a combination that could seem incomplete without rows of swaying palms.

MidtownGuy
January 20th, 2010, 05:57 PM
a similar trend in L.A.

Los Angeles Journal
City Says Its Urban Jungle Has Little Room for Palms

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 25 — The palm tree, like so much here, rose to fame largely because of vanity and image control, then met its downfall when the money ran out.

The Los Angeles City Council, fed up with the cost of caring for the trees, with their errant fronds that plunge perilously each winter, and with the fact that they provide little shade, have declared them the enemy of the urban forest and wish that most would disappear.


The city plans to plant a million trees of other types over the next several years so that, as palms die off, most will be replaced with sycamores, crape myrtles and other trees indigenous to Southern California. (Exceptions will be the palms growing in places that tourists, if not residents, demand to see palmy, like Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards.)
The department that supplies trees at the request of Los Angeles residents no longer offers palms, and the Santa Monica Boulevard reconstruction project, which includes 1,000 new trees, will feature a mere 40 palms.
By slowly pushing out the palm, Los Angeles joins Miami and other maturing cities that have determined they can live without their youthful indulgence.


“They are iconic,” conceded Josh Kamensky, the spokesman for Eric Garcetti, the council president. “They are also really bad for our city.”
Of the various varieties of palms, none is really indigenous to Los Angeles. In the mid-20th century, land barons relocating to Los Angeles and Hollywood from the East decided that palm trees denoted the easy life, and began planting them at their homes and offices, said Leland Lai, the president of the Palm Society of Southern California, a research group that supports keeping the city lined with palms.


Hotels and housing subdivisions came next, and the state’s transportation authority planted the trees on public parkways “because they decided they were easy, fast growing and don’t need a lot of water,” Mr. Lai said.


But as it turns out, palm trees, particularly Mexican fan palms, feature big, spiky fronds that fall off the trees in the Santa Ana winds that sweep through in winter. The palms clonk cars, and occasionally pedestrians, said city officials, who also say that palm trees do not clean as much carbon monoxide from the air as do shadier trees.


Palms are hard to care for, so hard that the city has a line in its tree-trimming budget just for them. Last year, it was approximately $385,000, but proper care dictates an expense of about $630,000 per year, said Nazario Sauceda, the assistant director of the bureau of street services in the city’s Department of Public Works.


Many of the trees planted in the 1950s “are getting toward the end of their lives,” Mr. Lai said. “Some are 80 to 100 feet high and 70 years old, and these are not self-cleaning palms,” which means they need maintenance to remove old fronds.


Last year, the city removed nearly 8,000 cubic yards of dried palm fronds from the public right of way, Mr. Sauceda said.


Date palms, which make a bit less of a mess, have become prohibitively expensive to import, mostly from the Middle East, because Las Vegas has snapped them all up. And with only 18 percent of the city shaded (the national average is 28 percent), Los Angeles wants trees that shelter people from the sun.


“This is an issue of the image of Southern California,” Mr. Lai said. “And not so much an issue of the provision of oxygen.”
It is unlikely that the rest of the world will start to associate Los Angeles with, say, the jacaranda.


For Americans looking for personal reinvention, palm trees are part of the physical evidence that Los Angeles is the right place to be, up there with the Hollywood sign peeking out from Beachwood Canyon and swimming pools that shimmer in October.


The trees are also used in many company logos, including that of Jet Blue’s frequent flyer program, which features the skyline of New York and the palms of Los Angeles. “While the palm tree is closely identified with Southern California,” Jenny Dervin, a spokeswoman for JetBlue, said in an e-mail message, “it also evokes some of our island destinations — Puerto Rico, Aruba, Dominican Republic — so we may be able to survive this episode.”


Mr. Lai suggested that the city’s actions might be rash and that it investigate the use of palm trees that are easier to care for than the Mexican fan variety. Trees are so integral to the image of Los Angeles, he said, that they are worth the bother.


“Hawaii has a lot of coconut tree liability problems because they fall on people’s heads,” he said. “But the people there have said, ‘That is something that we have to accept.’ ”

MidtownGuy
January 26th, 2010, 04:15 PM
The rarest palm tree in the world is Hyophorbe amaricaulis.
It can only be found on the island of Mauritius and there is only one specimen surviving, in the botanic gardens in Curepipe!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/42/Hyophorbe-amaricaulis.JPG/450px-Hyophorbe-amaricaulis.JPG

MidtownGuy
March 26th, 2010, 08:22 PM
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4032/4466076272_c16e07bf7e_o.jpg
^photo from wiki commons

The acai palm is very skinny and native to South America.
Its fruit is now famous across the world but in Brazil it has been common for a long time. I first tasted it in Rio De Janeiro and it's my morning breakfast when I'm down there. It is delicious the way they serve it as thick pulp in a cup, that you eat with granola sprinkled on top. Very tasty and surprisingly filling. It's cheap and it's on every corner.

Nightline had a news special on the fruit because of its recent hype and over marketing to the outside world. The link is below

Confusion Over Acai Does Not Mute Market (http://http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/acai-miracle-berry-marketing-scam/story?id=10085901) Chemists Say Fruit on Par With Other Antioxidants; Amazonians Call It 'Purple Gold'



and the article on wiki...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acai

One thing noted in the report was that it gives people a reason not to cut down the rainforest where this species grows.

londonlawyer
March 27th, 2010, 12:38 AM
Believe it or not, before clinking onto the "Anything Goes" section, I was looking at photos of royal and coconut palms in Miami! Then, I clicked onto this site to write a review of the movie Chloe and saw this! Palms are awesome!

MidtownGuy
April 8th, 2010, 06:17 PM
They are awesome, I've been interested in them for as long as I can remember.
Another place in the UK (this time Kirkcaldy on the east coast of Scotland) is planting hardy varieties such as windmill palms:

Palm trees cause stir on Kirkcaldy roundabout (http://www.fifetoday.co.uk/fife-free-press-news/Palm-trees-cause-stir-on.6212202.jp)


Published Date: 08 April 2010
http://www.fifetoday.co.uk/getEdFrontImage.aspx?ImageID=457358
A new tropical look for a roundabout has raised comment as reporter Debbie Clarke found out ...

WHEN you think of palm trees you imagine them along sandy beaches below blue skies and scorching sunshine in the Caribbean - not in a roundabout near a railway station in Kirkcaldy!

That's the view of some residents who contacted The Press this week to report the strange sighting of palm trees being planted in the centre of the Oriel Road roundabout.

They have asked why the Council has chosen these typically tropical plants and why the money wasn't spent on more important problems such as fixing potholes in the town's roads.

But a local authority spokesman said the work on the roundabout was funded through a private company and the design is based on "architectural and grass type plants which will provide an interesting focal point at one of the key entrances into the town centre."

Yet Paul Gilfillan, who stays in Douglas Street, said: "I like a tropical palm tree and aloe vera plants as much as the next man.

''They suggest sunnier climes than ours and are often reminders of cherished holidays or favourite locations.

"But imagine my surprise to see them springing forth from the recently excavated roundabout behind the railway station, like some wonderful oasis."

He added: "Sort the roads. Forget the roundabouts."

Another local said: "Has a freak hurricane hit Kirkcaldy without my knowledge?

''How much do these poor palms cost? Oriel roundabout is now a mess.

"I know it has just been planted and has to mature, but why do we have to suffer these ridiculous palm trees?

"Why can we not have trees that are native, that contribute to the flora and fauna?"

Scott Clelland, area parks officer for Kirkcaldy, said the work is being funded through sponsorship from a private company as well as the 'Cleaner, Tidier Fife' programme.

He continued: "The palm trees were chosen because of the effect they are going to have as an architectural plant.

"We have plenty of that type of plant in and around Glenrothes on different roundabouts, so it's nothing new.

"We have also had similar planting on the roundabouts outside the Beveridge Park.

"We are trying to create an interesting landscape."

"No rabbits have been removed from the roundabout as part of this improvement work."

He said funding for the scheme came from money set aside for environmental improvements and that a different Council budget is used to fund road repairs such as potholes.

"We hope people will see the benefits of this and we are endeavouring to get the work completed as soon as we possibly can," he added.

MidtownGuy
June 28th, 2010, 12:14 AM
9785




Iraq through the eyes of a tree healer (http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2010/0624/Iraq-through-the-eyes-of-a-tree-healer)


Jawad Kadhim is a third-generation date-palm tree doctor, one of a dwindling number in Iraq's capital. His job offers a unique window on how the sectarian violence has changed behavior in the various neighborhoods of Baghdad.


Baghdad, Iraq

Jawad Kadhim rides his rusty bicycle through Baghdad neighborhoods that have been transformed by violence, sealed off by concrete blast walls and emptied of their once close-knit inhabitants.

Fearful of being mistaken for a militant, he announces himself loudly at front gates and hides his ax when he makes a sales pitch. Every stop is a gamble in this new Baghdad, but Kadhim trusts that even the wariest and most traumatized Iraqis will protect a man who can heal the trees.


Kadhim is a third-generation date-palm gardener, one of a dwindling number in Iraq (http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Topics/Iraq)'s capital, he said, because most consider it too dangerous to go door to door in a place where sectarian cleansing has dramatically altered the city's demographics.
"In this life, I rely only on God and palm trees," said Kadhim, one recent afternoon, callused hands folded in his lap.

No neighborhood is safe — his knocks on familiar doors are now answered by strangers, and at least 12 of his gardening friends have been killed.


He's sure that many of his longtime customers have been forced from their homes or were killed in sectarian battles, but he knows better than to ask questions. He has a job to do.


"I'm like a taxi driver. I pick up customers wherever I can," he said with a chuckle.
Through war, occupation, bombings and neglect, the Iraqi date palm has endured. Farmers on these lands have cultivated dates since the ancient times of Mesopotamia, and artists through the centuries have celebrated the palm tree's resilience and bounty. Iraqis still use every part, weaving rope from the fibers and baskets from the fronds, exhibiting a tenderness toward the trees that's incongruous with the harshness of everyday life.


"The blessed tree," Kadhim calls it, with reverence. But the date palm, like the country it symbolizes, has fallen on hard times.


In Iraq's date-production heyday, official estimates put the number of palm trees at 30 million, but decades of war and water salinity have cut that figure so dramatically that the United Nations agriculture mission considers date-palm rehabilitation an urgent national priority.

It would take armies of gardeners to revive the industry, and they'd have to be as skilled as Kadhim is, knowing how to pollinate, when to trim the leaves and the precise moment when dates are ready for picking.
Many of his old gardening friends said they're not willing to risk their lives to work for the equivalent of $10 a tree, which is still more than customers pay in the south, where it's safer and the trees are more abundant.


Kadhim left his farming community near the southern Shiite Muslim holy city of Najaf a decade ago, after he heard how much Baghdad families were willing to pay to keep their palm trees groomed. Few of his original customers remain.


"So many families have left (http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2010/0602/Iraqi-Christians-Better-off-than-other-Iraqi-refugees)," Kadhim said, rattling off examples from neighborhoods throughout Baghdad. "Even when I find strangers in their houses, they never tell me they were displaced. They say the old families left or that they're relatives. Some of them just say, 'We live here now instead of them.'"


Iraq's previous wars disrupted his work for short spells, Kadhim said, but the U.S. invasion and its chaotic aftermath changed the tradition of palm tending altogether.

No longer do families hand him keys so he can slip into their gardens and work while they are out or sleeping. No longer do women or girls who are home alone allow him to set foot on the property; they insist that he return when male relatives are present. No longer do his customers make small talk — nobody wants to divulge a detail that could lead to a kidnapping or other threat.

"Before the Americans came, work was better. I could go anywhere in Baghdad, work however late I wanted, and fall asleep on any street corner," Kadhim said.

In the early days of the U.S. presence, Kadhim said, he simply navigated his bike through the back streets and continued doing business as usual, avoiding the foreign tanks and Humvees that rolled through Baghdad. As the lawlessness persisted, Kadhim lost customers, but he still had enough work to keep him in the capital for weeks at a time.


He took small precautions, sleeping in a cheap motel instead of under the trees in case of bombings. Only when all-out sectarian war erupted in 2006 did he pack his tools and head south to his family's patch of land near Karbala.


The fertile south is where Kadhim wriggled up towering palm trees as a boy, ate date syrup and buffalo cream for breakfast and, in time, learned how to pollinate palm trees and rid them of harmful pests.

He was given his first tibilya, a harness traditionally made of palm fibers, and became an expert at scaling even the tallest trees. The skin on his hands and feet grew hard from the bark, and his face is now creased from exposure to Iraq's harsh sun and frequent sandstorms.


"My father taught me, and his father before him," Kadhim said. "I first started using my hands when I was 7."


From 2006 to 2008, Kadhim stayed home in Karbala with his wife and their six children, but he wasn't happy. The TV news showed carnage he never thought possible in the neighborhoods where he once worked. Every time he pondered returning, a new outbreak of violence would keep him in the south.


"If you see death with your own eyes, do you run toward it?" he said.


In early 2008, when the violence began subsiding, Kadhim ventured to Baghdad again. So many streets were sealed off by new checkpoints that he had to park his bicycle outside the barriers and look for clients on foot. His heart sank when he saw the extent of the devastation, and not just the scars left on people and houses. He found ruins where elegant gardens once stood.


Shriveled, unpicked dates hung from brittle limbs. Dead leaves were piled on the ground. Palm trees he'd planted years before were chopped down or uprooted to clear lines of sight for U.S. snipers and militant mortar teams.


The destruction was so overwhelming, he said, "I felt like I myself was wounded."
In the past couple of years, most of the trees in his care have come back to life under his renewed attention. He trimmed their dead leaves, pollinated them in the spring and treated the trees for insect and rat infestations. Today, they bear clusters of hard yellow dates that should ripen into sweet brown fruit this summer.


"There's nothing you can't cure," Kadhim said.

MidtownGuy
November 30th, 2010, 11:53 AM
Worth Avenue's $15.8 million makeover wows both merchants and shoppers (http://www.palmbeachpost.com/money/worth-avenues-15-8-million-makeover-wows-both-1079299.html)


http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4124/5221366538_72b4bd0eb8_b.jpg
Bill Ingram/Palm Beach Post


New retro look: Worth Avenue’s renovation, originally slated to take two years, was finished a week early in one off-season. It was the Palm Beach street’s first major renovation since 1983.


By Susan Salisbury (http://www.palmbeachpost.com/services/staff/susan-salisbury-16101.html) Palm Beach Post Staff Writer


PALM BEACH — "Purple bougainvillea, swaying palm trees and bright blue skies form a fascinating backdrop for Yuletide regalia."

That's how Worth Avenue was described in a Dec. 17, 1939, Miami News article . Now, with the famous street's $15.8 million makeover completed, the swaying palms are back.
More than 200 mature coconut palms, from 32 to 40 feet tall, grace the street.
The redo, which began in April, also includes new tabby seashell sidewalks, antique-style streetlights, benches and a new 25-foot clock tower. The electrical system and utility lines were moved underground.

"The last time they did any major renovation was 1983. It was time.
At night the avenue just shines," said Sherry Frankel, president of the Worth Avenue Association and owner of Sherry Frankel's Melangerie.

The street's update is based on photographs from the early days. Addison Mizner built the Everglades Club at the western end of Worth Avenue in 1918.
By the 1920s, stores had opened on the street.

"When Mizner first did the avenue, they used coconut palms up and down. They were there until the '70s, when the lethal yellowing blight killed the coconuts," said Brian Vertesch, a senior associate at landscape architects Sanchez & Maddux in Palm Beach.
The town then brought in Christmas palms, which were too small compared with the buildings, he said. "Finding 200 coconuts was a challenge. We had to go from West Palm Beach to Miami and then to Naples," Vertesch said.

Some were purchased from nurseries, but others were supplied by tree brokers who go around and knock on homeowners' doors. And more came from rental complexes where the trees had grown too large for the setting.

The avenue is wowing both merchants and shoppers.

"The avenue looks as it should. It's very glamorous and elegant," said Edwin Vinson of West Palm Beach, strolling down the avenue with friends last week.

Ed Kassatly, owner of Kassatly's Inc., the avenue's oldest store, in business since 1923, added: "The makeover is absolutely fantastic. It's absolutely drop-dead beautiful. We are now by far the prettiest shopping street in America.
"When you first see it, you look and you say, 'Oh my gosh.' It is like a picture postcard from the 1950s."

While the typical street-scape ranges from $1,000 to $4,000 per lineal foot, the Worth Avenue renovation came in at $5,550 a foot, said Marc Kleisley, project manager for general contractor Burkhardt Construction in West Palm Beach. That's partly due to the high-end finishes and products that were incorporated, such as the 25-foot clock tower that cost about $600,000.

"It was slated as a two-year project that was compressed into one off-season for the town. They did not want it to go through the season," Kleisley said.

The company used two to three times the typical number of crews and worked from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Scheduled to be completed Nov. 23, work was done about a week early and in time for the Christmas tree lighting slated for Tuesday.

"We are wiping down the poles and giving it the white-glove treatment," Kleisley said.
Jim Connery, president of Vero Beach-based Connery Concrete, was doing a final walk-through last week, checking the tabby concrete his company installed for the sidewalks, crosswalks and on adjoining Hibiscus Avenue. It's generally used for high-end private residences.

"Tabby is the Spanish word for seashells in concrete," Connery said. "Technically speaking, the seashells are broadcast in the concrete when the concrete is still wet. The shells are very old coquina shell. They are not crushed."

The extremely durable tabby requires little or no maintenance, and if you walk on it barefoot, it's smooth and therapeutic, he said.

Marley Herring, owner of Marley's Palm Beach Collection, praised the avenue's new look.
"I think they did a wonderful job," Herring said. "It looks clean and fresh."

About the only criticism, voiced by several retailers, is that parking is still difficult to find at times, and there's not enough of it near their shops.

Property owners in the Worth Avenue Commercial District Assessment Area are paying for the project, financed through a bond, over 30 years.

"It's fantastic and way overdue," said John Maus, owner of Maus & Hoffman, on the avenue since 1961. "It's a $15 million boon to the Palm Beach taxpayers."

lofter1
January 16th, 2011, 12:34 PM
Martius, Book of Palms

Published by Taschen (http://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/classics/all/00395/facts.martius_book_of_palms.htm)

http://www.taschen.com/media/images/480/cover_xl_martius_book_of_palms_iep_1009081215_id_3 82481.jpg

http://www.girlnation.es/upload/noticiasgal/xl_martius_book_of_palms_02_domeschic1.jpg

http://www.palmsociety.org.uk/_newsimages/page_xl_martius_palms_01_1007121519_id_297266.jpg

http://www.taschen.com/media/images/640/page_xl_martius_palms_08_1007121528_id_338572.jpg

MidtownGuy
January 16th, 2011, 01:50 PM
Beautiful. Thanks for posting this...I'm going to purchase a copy.

lofter1
January 16th, 2011, 02:16 PM
I thought you might already have it. Looks like a good investment.

Taschen has a store (http://www.taschen.com/pages/en/stores/979.store_new_york.1.htm) on Greene Street in Soho (between Prince & Spring)

MidtownGuy
January 16th, 2011, 04:36 PM
hmm...that's convenient but they have it new at Amazon for $94.50 instead of 150.00!
---


11893
Ancient Egyptian Palm Trees Faces Extinction (http://www.greenprophet.com/2011/01/ancient-palm-extinction/)

Environmentalists have called for urgent action to save the last 400 argun palm trees, a rare desert palm tree highly valued by the ancient Egyptians
In the remote regions of Sudan and Egypt the argun palm tree- a rare desert tree whose fruit was discovered by archaeologists in Pharaoh tombs- grows under a harsh sun. Less than 400 trees is all that remains of the species which environmentalists say is now in critical danger of extinction. Although the desert palm tree has managed to survive the passage of time and outlive the Pharaohs, ecological experts say that human activity such as over-exploitation and climate change is putting the prized palm tree in serious danger.


Argun Palm Population Under Threat

According to a report by IPS News, the argun palm tree was first recorded by archaeologists who found its dried fruit amongst the gold and offerings recovered from the tombs of Pharaohs. However, it was assumed that the palm tree had died off with the Pharaohs until a German naturalist, Prince Paul Wilhelm von Wurttemburg stumbled across the species in the wilds of northern Sudan in 1837. Comprehensive surveys done over the last two decades recorded only 40 argun palms in Egypt and several hundred in northern Sudan.



In Egypt, desertification has taken it’s toll on the species whilst the palm trees in Sudan are at risk of over-exploitation by the local tribes who use the trees to make rope, mats and baskets. Professor of plant ecology Irina Springuel told IPS, “The argun palm survives, but its population is under heavy pressure. Unless protected, the species could disappear – and this time for good.” The argun palm tree is currently listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nation Red List of Threatened Species.

Growing Threat of Human Activity



Mahmoud Hasseb, director of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) of South Area Protectorates, told IPS that the growing level of human activity in regions where the argun grows in Egypt could also have a potentially devastating affect on the palm trees. Hasseb added that they were currently assessing the possibility of seeking protected status for the regions to limit the risk that a careless fire by a visitor or hunter would destroy the entire species. “For several years we’ve seen evidence of tourists and hunters visiting this area,” he told IPS. “When we visited in 2009, we collected the bones of dead gazelles and found dozens of palm trees had been burned. It became clear that this ecosystem was at risk.”



This report is one of many similar cases highlighting the danger of extinction for various species in the Middle East including: concerns about sharks in Kuwait and the Persian Gulf, as well as the dragon blood tree in the Socotra in Yemen. Whilst these may appear to demonstrate the dangerous situation much of flora and fauna face in the MENA region, these calls for urgent action also demonstrate an awareness of the seriousness of the situation and willingness to take action.

antinimby
July 25th, 2011, 11:25 AM
Check this out. I found this beauty growing in Brooklyn!

That's right, a palm tree growing (and thriving - there's a new frond ready to unfurl that you cannot see in the photo I took but trust me it's there) in Downtown Brooklyn right in the MetroTech complex.

13662


There's actually quite a bit of what appears to be tropical plants and a few other palms in the garden area of this complex and they all look like they are permanently planted in the ground i.e. not in pots that may be moved indoors in the winter.

ZippyTheChimp
July 25th, 2011, 01:51 PM
Now you're going to have to find out what species it is.

MidtownGuy
July 25th, 2011, 08:16 PM
great find antinimby!