The City of Panama City to cut down all Palm trees lining Harrison Avenue

By Larissa Scott | lscott@wmbb.com

Published 08/25 2016 06:00PM

Updated 08/25 2016 06:00PM

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

The City of Panama City is moving forward with the redevelopment and make-over of the downtown area. With that, comes change in the form of the Harrison Avenue street-scape project. 
 
That project will completely re-vamp the heart of downtown Panama City. 
 
To do that, city leaders said they will need to chop down all of the Palm trees lining Harrison Avenue. 
 
With some of the pedestrian improvements the city wants to include in the project, to make an outdoor cafe for example, the location of the trees and their proximity to the buildings, mean the trees need to be moved. 
 
They were planted in the late 1990's and aren't native to Florida, so they can't endure the heavy storm winds common in the state.
 
The trees are California Palms and aren't nearly finished growing yet. Currently the trees are about 25-30 feet tall and can grow to be up to 60-80 feet tall. That presents maintenance and liability issues issues for the city. 
 
There currently aren't any Palm trees in the plan for the Harrison Avenue project, but moving forward, if the public wants to see Palm trees, the city said they will look into planting Sabal Palms, which are native to Florida.
 
"We hate to see the Palm trees go as well. We understand that they're near and dear to a lot of people's hearts but due to some of the issues that we've had with them,  we thought it was best, and for the future of the downtown street-scape, we thought it was best to plant a tree, a Florida friendly tree, that would last for many many years," said Panama Ctiy Assistant City Manager Jeff Tillman. 
 
The city said it's more expensive for them to relocate the Palm trees, so when the time comes, if anyone wants to dig up and take the trees at their own expense, they are welcome to do so. 
 

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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