You Might See Fewer Palm Trees in Miami Beach in the Coming Years

There's a good reason for that

Palm trees
Palm trees in Miami.
Alin Andersen/Unsplash

How many iconic images of Miami Beach have included palm trees? The city may well be known for its plant life as much as its nightlife. But in the coming years and decades, residents and visitors are likely to see a relatively smaller number of palm trees in the Florida city. Climate change is indeed why — but it might not be for the reason you think.

A new article by Richard Luscombe at The Guardian offers some context for the coming changes in Miami Beach. Currently palm trees make up 55% of the trees in Miami Beach; the city government has announced plans to reduce that percentage to 25% by 2050. Why? Because while they’re very scenic, palm trees aren’t great at providing shade — something that can have an effect on the climate and air quality in the city.

The article notes that about 1,000 palms are slated to be removed in the coming weeks — but rather than culling the palm tree population further, the change will be accomplished by planting more shade trees in the coming years.

They might make for a slightly different look for Miami Beach in the near future, but the changes also seem designed to make the city a more habitable place. Not a bad tradeoff.

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