by Summer Lane
Are you familiar with the towering palm trees that line the road on Reed Avenue? They greet every out-of-town visitor and remind local residents that the two-lane boulevard they drive on every day is not just pretty, but historic. Unfortunately, the City of Reedley has big plans to take the palm trees out in order to widen the road.
The palm trees that stand along the Reed Avenue strip are over 100 years old. They were planted there when the city’s founder, Thomas L. Reed, resided on that same street. His house once stood where there is now a giant patch of empty dirt on the side of the college parking lot. The city knocked the historic home down to make way for progress, and all these years later, there is still nothing there but the trees that once surrounded the 19th century property.
There are nearly 60 palm trees that line Reed Avenue. All have been standing for well over 100 years. They certainly add a nice touch to the road. It’s the first thing that greets people who drive on Reed while on their way to Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon. The city’s project, which would consist of removing the palm trees and selecting a few to relocate in front of the college, would ultimately make way for a new four-lane road on Reed.
How will that affect you?
The palm trees are a beautiful part of Reedley’s natural landscape. Close your eyes for a moment and imagine Reed Avenue without the trees. At the moment, the city is still mulling over the details of the tree removal/relocation project. I personally hope that they save the trees. They’re beautiful, they’re historic, and pulling them out would be no smarter than leveling Thomas L. Reed’s house or the Reedley Train Depot.
But wait. That’s already been done.
Before long Reedley will have no historic elements left, and if we want to preserve our history, we should take a step back and try to conserve what we have, especially when the palm trees in question have been standing here for over a century and lend such a great aspect of natural beauty to the college.
Please feel free to comment with your thoughts on this issue.