Plant life adds distinct charm across Arizona

by Triton Paiz

Arizona is a very successful and well-respected state when it comes to accommodations for travelers, citizens and celebrities.

Casinos, spas, innumerable golf courses all boast luxury without the luck of a beach. However, we have found a way to curb this nostalgia factor. Palm trees. Since Arizona’s foundation the predisposed idea of palm trees signifying a tropical setting has been fully embraced.

A landscaping favorite among the dry valley, the palm tree is a perfect addition to any area that isn’t mostly low-lying buildings. Representing a carefree nature and spirit to travelers and denizens alike, the palms that are grown in Arizona boast a hearty reputation.

The variety of palms in Phoenix and Scottsdale respectively are astounding. Try counting the different species of palms as you drive throughout your day and you’ll be shocked by the different types you notice. Arizona’s personal favorite and most used palm is the Mexican Fan Palm.

Indigenous to western Sonora and Baja California in northwestern Mexico, the fan palms have moved north due to adaptable climates and have found a nice home here in Arizona.

Many of Arizona’s premiere locations (ASU campus, GCC campus, Talking Stick Resort, Etc.) have taken full advantage of the ease of use involved in planting, growing, and hybridizing these plants. Fully adorning their facilities with the classic lines of palms up the avenue.

Sun Palm Tree, a certified palm distributor, states the Blue Fan Palm as: “Adapted to a wide range of soil types, and climates…commonly seen at 40 to 50 feet but capable of soaring to 80 feet in height, Washington Palm is quickly recognized as the much-used, straight, single-trunked street palm of years past.”

Locally grown and cultivated as a premium aesthetic to our arid environment the Mexican Fan Palm is a long standing feature to Arizona’s Beauty.

Many gorgeous plants adorn Arizona’s crown of mountains adding color and texture to the usually dry and repetitive environment.

Our most famous desert vegetation and what Phoenicians are most known for: the cactus. Cactus transportation, removal, and planting is an extremely touchy subject in Arizona, Nevada and California.

Many federal laws are in place to regulate the movement of them. What does this have to do with palms? Locality.

Originally found and cultivated in ancient Arabia, the second most popular tall palm in Arizona is the Phoenix dactylifera or the date palm.

The date palm has a long arduous history with mankind and its tendency to favor lasting beauty and luxury. The oldest dated palm to be cultivated, depicted on ancient Egyptian walls, boasting a 2,000- year-old seed still able to sprout and blossoming an edible fruit; the date palm is by far the most distinguished Palm and even tree when it comes to luxury.

Arizona has a longstanding reputation for embracing the culture of the areas within and surrounding the state.

Such a refined reputation; that even most of the common vegetation has been adapted for aesthetic landscaping purposes.

Whether it be Palo Verde trees, palm trees, cacti, aloe vera, or yucca we found a way to utilize it to our advantage.

Arizonans and especially Phoenicians take pride in the locality of their surroundings.

However, recently Arizona has had a large influx of date palms being cultivated and planted within the cities of Phoenix and Scottsdale.

Date palms are native to the Arabian deserts and were taken to California by Spanish conquistadors in 1765, to be cultivated for beautifying the facilities and the growing city.

Since then, hybrids have been created and dates whether through human interference or natural causes have genetically adapted to Arizona’s environment.

Date palms royal appearance has appealed to new companies as opposed to the seemingly normal fan palms. Causing a demand for date palms.

Date palms in all their wonder, do have some drawbacks. According to a research study done by the students of the University of Arizona in categorizing and cataloging local palms, date palms require some special attention. “To develop a single trunk or maintain a neat appearance, offshoots need to be removed or limited to a few in number. Transplanting is best in the summer. Regular irrigation and fertilizer encourages best growth…old fronds and fruit drop require considerable cleanup. Too messy for pool/patio use. Susceptible to bud rot, palm borer and nematodes. Pruning may be costly when the palm is tall.”

If you look around you’ll notice how trimmed palm trees are. The reason: pests. Simpsons Tree Service, a well-respected arbor maintenance organization, sheds a frightening light on frond upkeep.

Palm trees with slumping, dead fronds can attract pests such as rats, roaches, bats and snakes. Rodents may nest and breed within thick layers of dead fronds in untrimmed palm trees and have easy access to your roof and home.” This tells us a lot. In other information sources, it is urged  date palms be continuously irrigated, which is extremely costly in a state that is always in a drought.

Exercising kindness, only to mention one other negative feature, “Too messy for pool/patio use.” Too messy for pool/patio use. Arizona doesn’t have a beach; we make up for this using our pools and patios.

When it comes to Arizona’s beauty, we should keep it to ourselves and the surrounding areas. With enough profound beauty to attract a large pool of tourists and event hosting, we will be more than fine without going steady with date palms.

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