Miami is set to reduce number of palm trees as climate concerns rise

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Mar 01, 2021, 03.46 PM(IST)

Miami skyline is seen as the sun sets in the background in South Bay, Miami Beach, Florida on August 3, 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic. Florida has emerged as an epicenter of the US virus crisis, which has already claimed nearly 155,000 lives nationw Photograph:( AFP )

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The famous Miami Beach in Florida could soon lose its charm - palm trees

The famous Miami Beach in Florida could soon lose its charm - palm trees. In a bid to minimise the effects of climate change, Miami Beach will now look for more shade-providing alternatives to palm trees so that visitors can escape the scorching sun.

According to the Miami Herald, officials are embarking on a 30-year plan to cut down on the number of palm trees in the city. As part of this, officials intend to reduce the trees to a quarter of its total canopy by 2050.

These measures are part of a bigger move to decrease urban warming and to improve air quality.  The projects are already underway, with 1,000 palm trees set to be removed over the coming weeks. 

The Guardian cited Elizabeth Wheaton, the Environmental and Sustainability Director for Miami Beach as saying that they had no plans for mass felling of trees. Media reports indicate that the reduction in the number of trees will be achieved not by brazen felling, but by planting 1,300 fresh shade trees instead of palm trees over the upcoming two decades.

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Wheaton claims that this will help make the city "more walkable and pleasant". According to Wheaton, the expansion of trees with shade will help "enhance the city's brand and quality of life", the Miami Herald cited it as saying.

Even then, palm trees will not be completely fazed out and will continue to be a "focal point" for Miami. Planting shade trees like oak, ash, elm, and sycamore has multiple benefits. Shade trees can help remove carbon dioxide and harmful ozone. In addition, they can also intercept rainfall.

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The palm tree has become the primary associative factor with Miami and has been used in mainstream depictions of the city for many generations. Miami has 48,900 trees, out of which Arecaceae palms account for 55 per cent of the trees.

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