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LA's on the verge of saying goodbye to (most of) its iconic palm trees

Los Angeles' iconic palm trees are disappearing.
Los Angeles' iconic palm trees are disappearing.
David McNew/Getty Images

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The Los Angeles skyline is on its way to losing its iconic palm-frond silhouette.

A recent story in the L.A. Times explains how, due to a fatal fungus and an invasive weevil, palm trees are on their way out. With the exception of six historic areas, the city will be replacing them with native, drought-tolerant plants.

Despite their instant association with Los Angeles, the palm tree is actually a transplant (pun intended), brought over in the 19th and 20th centuries in order to glamourize the desert-scape of California.

We talk history and ecology of the classic but non-native palm, as the future portends a very different landscape for our city.


Kitty Connolly, executive director of the Theodore Payne Foundation, a non-profit that aims to educate Southern California about its native landscape