Frondless Palms

Back in February of 2021, central Texas experienced what we’ve termed “Snowpocalypse.” We were iced in for five days, unable to step out onto our front porches, get mail, or get food. Many of us had no water, and others had no electricity due to downed lines. It was then that thousands of surrounding trees died.

We had high hopes that they would rally in spring, and a small few did. But most just died, and much money and time were spent in stumpgrinding and removal. Yards all over town have empty spots on their lawns, or small saplings still tied to the stakes. We let over a year pass until we finally gave up on our backyard palm tree. It gave up the ghost long ago.

Yesterday, however, we visited Margarita’s restaurant for the first time in years. It used to be visible from the road by its couple dozen large palm trees, swaying in the breeze. It was a lovely tropical vibe. Yesterday, we could barely see it from the road. Then we realized it, too, had suffered palm tree loss.

And yet all the trunks remain standing, like a once-tropical Stonehenge. At this point, they should be felled. But replacing them would run into the hundreds of thousands. Until then, I imagine they will stand proudly but sadly in the breeze.

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