Can someone please tell me how in the world palm trees ended up in our downtown area? Did some poop happy migratory birds from Florida do an East/West migration in error one year? Did some geese migrating from France have a little too much Grey Goose and leave some life-giving droppings in their confusion? I’ve asked many people, but gotten few answers. Some explanations make sense and some don’t. But it is downright entertaining to sort through all the wildly variant opinions regarding these non-native trees that continue to tower over our downtown streetscape. Some love them and think they bring a unique look to our downtown area, – while some absolutely hate them and think they are ugly and don’t belong here. Here is a sampling of what some of your neighbors are saying: 1. “They are beautiful and exotic looking”, 2. “They are scraggly looking and are certainly out of place” 3. “The dead palm branches give it character..”, 4. “The dead palm branches look terrible and need to be trimmed” 5. “They make our downtown look like a tropical vacation spot”, 6. “Those things just need to go away”, 7.”They’ve been around for so long we just need to keep them”, 8. “Nobody else around here has palm trees in their downtown”… These are just a few of the viewpoints I’ve heard, so as you see opinions are all over the place. They seem to evoke a response akin to the Dallas Cowboys, – you love them, or you hate them, but at the very least everyone seems to have a strong opinion on the subject. Of course you’ll have some unobservants (another word I made up), who live life with a singular focus and have no idea what I’m talking about and didn’t even notice they are there. But wherever you fall on the subject, I think that I’m pretty safe in saying that they’ll be towering over our Main Street District for awhile longer. I tend to agree with the opinion that they have eventually become a small part of Luling lore and now make up a small part of our heritage, like it or not.
I’ve heard that Mayor Howertz had them planted back in the day. I’ve also heard that after a major tree planting project on the Gulf Coast somewhere, some were left over and we ended up with some of them. But almost everyone I talked to has absolutely no clue what happened, who was involved, or any idea why they sprouted up here of all places. So unless someone comes forward and shares some insight on the matter soon, I guess we will just have to stick with the inebriated geese theory… There aren’t many people left who were around at that time so I suppose the hourglass is about to run out on our ability to put all the pieces together and tell the true story. I honestly haven’t spent a ton of effort researching the topic, but I’ve talked to enough people to figure out that there really isn’t much information out there to be had on the subject. So I guess what I’m really trying to convey to all you fine people is that it would be nice to know how they ended up here, and hope someone can step up and tell the story before it’s too late. My doors are open. Your usual courtesies are appreciated and I’ll advise of any further updates on this puzzling matter…
“We have a strategic plan… it’s called figuring out how the palm trees got here!” – Derek Hall
– Derek Hall, Luling Main Street Manager
“It’s a Main Street Thing…” The Luling Newsboy & Signal [Luling, TX] 30 January 2014: Volume 134, No. 45