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Source: Benjamin Disinger/Flickr: Creative Commons

Iconic LA Palm Trees Will Soon Be Replaced By More Sustainable Tree


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Most famous cities have their own distinctive skylines. With Los Angeles, what that looks like is a little different. The city sprawls far and wide, but few buildings are notably tall. What most people picture  when they think of Los Angeles are its iconic palm trees. Oddly enough, only the California fan palm is native to the area. Developers and city officials imported all different varieties to see what would take in the late 19th and early 20th century, according to the L.A. Times, as a way to beautify the growing urban region.

The trees flourished, but they're now facing new challenges: climate change, fungus, and bugs.

The South American palm weevil made it to Sand Diego in 2011, and though it travels relatively slowly, it's making its inevitable way towards L.A. The Fusarium fungus has also become more prevalent in California, where it attacks overwatered palms and can even spread on pruning equipment, like chainsaws. It's estimated that the trees are disappearing at such a rate that if things continue the same way for the next five years, it will take 30 to 50 years to replace them.