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Removing The Palm Trees on Reed

IN THE August 18 ISSUE

FROM THE 2012 Articles,
andHometown History,
andReedley News,
andSummer Lane

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.

Palm trees on Reed

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

Summer Lane is a freelance writer with thousands of published articles on a variety of topics. She’s also a published novelist, publicist, book reviewer and cat lover. Her book, Snappy Social Networking, is available now! You can contact Summer for reviews or writing on her blog.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sean Stephens
Twitter: @seankstephens
August 20, 2012 at 5:28pm

Many of these small towns look the same. They all have a token mandate to preserve their own histories, but the greater mandate is for growth and improvement. Sadly, there is not much room for both and the balance is difficult. As a transplant, Reedley doesn’t have much history that means much to me. It is unfortunate that what it does have that sets it apart is going to be discarded in favor of improvements that will make it less distinctive, less attractive, and less appealing. Sure, there will be a four lane road out of this town. It seems odd that people see it as a road out of town instead of a road into town.
Indeed, the trees greet those arriving, but they also bid farewell to those departing. The palm trees set Reedley apart from other small towns. It will be sad to see them go, replaced with the noise of a four lane, busy road and a few trees to remind us of what we lost in the trade.
Is it a good deal for us and this town? Maybe. If it meant more jobs and prosperity, it might. However, I don’t expect it will result in greater prosperity.
The only tangible benefit is that Reedley will be able to either handle greater prosperity coming into the city, or support more people who have to work in other cities in order to be able to live here.


2 Jose September 16, 2012 at 12:18am

Why don’t they make the palm trees the center median of the 4-lane?


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