I WAS so disappointed when Cairns Regional Council cut down almost all the coconut palm trees on the upper side of Ocean View Road.
No explanation, no consultation and as far as I know, no plan to replace the trees. Why?
Coconut trees/palm trees are what define the tropics. Tourists expect the beaches to be lined with palm trees.
The view of Four Mile Beach from the lookout defines a tropical beach, blue sky, clean water, white sand and, yes, palm trees swaying in the breeze.
Newell Beach and Oak Beach both have a wonderful stand of palm trees lining their shore - as do many other beaches in the area.
Does this mean council will be cutting those down as well?
Does this mean the Palm Cove foreshore will be denuded of all their palm trees?
Part of Palm Cove’s attraction is the southern end of the beach where a wonderful stand of coconut palms line the beach in front of the resort.
The area is often used as a romantic setting to dine at the water’s edge under the coconut palms. Will council cut those down as well?
I am still waiting for Julia Leu’s response to my email asking her what the CEO’S comment to her was when she asked her why the coconut palm trees were cut down on Ocean View Road.
This paradigm was popular on a global scale in the mid-’70s and early ’80s but was soon dropped by those genuinely interested in plants.
Unfortunately it was continued and championed by those with a penchant for prejudice. As is the case with many prejudices, horticultural or otherwise, their foundation lies on shaky ground and this is no exception.
Take as an example the discovery of fossil coconuts in New Zealand. It’s estimated that coconut palms were widespread along the east coast there just 15 million years ago.
An enterprising nurseryman from Auckland armed with the genetic footprint of the fossil found a close match in Ecuador.
He received permission to import propagating material and is selling “Cocos zealandia” as an NZ native to the landscape industry. Is he wrong?
A similar scenario could very well exist here. I rang for an update on the progress of the “NZ coconut tree” and was told: “The adult plant more closely resembles the Elais (palm) rather than the Cocos (coconut) of the family Arecaeceae. It looks like a thing called the African oil palm. Are you familiar with that plant?” Now isn’t that incredibly ironic.