Edinburgh Botanic Garden fells old palm tree

Posted: 22 Nov 2008

News that this week, on Tuesday, the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh had to fell one of its tallest and oldest palms.

A Livistona australis that had reached 61ft in height was pushing at the roof of the upper walkway and dome of the greenhouse in which it was grown. Sadly as with all palms the growing point is at the top of the tree so no chance of pruning it!

The palm was planted in 1960 but I haven't been able to determine how tall it was at planting stage. The remains of the trunk are to be exhibited in a corridor that leads to the orchid house.

A replacement specimen was planted nearby during 2005 as part of the palm house's renovation and in readiness for the day its giant relative was to be felled.

It is estimated the new tree could reach the top of the dome in another 80 years!!!

Interestingly the palm is named after the town of Livingston in Scotland. This was in honour of Patrick Murray, laird of Livingston was was one of the founding fathers of the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh so a fitting palm for the location! A pretty tall record for this palm too, just a shame of course it had to be cut down!

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