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West 'Shade' Beach? City seeks more shade trees over palms

Shade trees help with carbon footprint
West Palm Beach palm trees
Posted at 8:11 PM, Oct 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-29 20:11:56-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — More cities in Florida are looking at other trees besides palm trees to combat climate change and offer more shade.

West Palm Beach is one city that is taking that approach, favoring trees like oak and mahogany over the iconic palms.

"Shade trees are really helpful with the carbon sequestering, so basically helping to reduce the greenhouse effect," arborist Marisa Magrino, of Environmental Consulting Group in Fort Lauderdale, said. "Also, they help conserve energy, so the more shade trees you have, you know, the more shade you can cover in (larger) areas like roadways, shade houses."

No one is looking to get rid of palm trees, but there is a push to plant more broadleaf native trees, even in areas where tourists visit.

"They're beautiful," Laurie Orser, of Maryland, said while looking at large palms in downtown West Palm Beach.

Karen Long, of Vermont, a state known for its tree cover, agrees with the beauty of the palms but understands the new trend.

"I think that they're really nice, but I agree with shade," she said.