Thursday, May 15, 2008

Choosing to volunteer at Heathecote Botanical Gardens in Fort Pierce Fl. was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made! I am learning so much about Palm Tree's I feel I might have an overload!! lol!!

This was our second day volunteering and I must say we accomplished alot!! We were introduced to many other volunteers that we have not met yet, and we were introduced to the Director of Gardens. This is a very exciting experience for me and the best part is that we are now officially the maintainers of the Palms!!

We started with a section that we like to refer to as the " Danger Zone " because in this tiny area we have a very mean Palm tree known as the Gru Gru Palm ( Acrocomia aculeate ) or Macaw Palm. This is the meanest Palm I have ever seen. Every inch of this Palm Tree is cover in 3-4 inch hypodermic needles. Even the fronds are covered with these extremely sharp needles that do not hesitate to penetrate whatever comes in contact with them. There were several fronds down that we had to remove and haul off and you guessed it, I was stabbed a few times, ouch!! The worst part was that there was 1 frond hanging 30 feet in the air looking like it was ready to fall and there was a little breeze so I was sure it was going to fall on my head while working underneath it. Luckily it didn't, whew!!

Surrounding the Gru Gru Palm was a very large clump of Bromeliads.. There was probably an area of 25 square feet of saw tooth Bromeliads that needed to be pulled up and potted to relocate later. You guessed it again my arms are shredded up!! These Bromeliads stood about chest high and were overtaking the area we were cleaning up.

Then in the " Danger Zone " we also had a Encephalartos whitelockii Cycad which has a leaflet that is probably 10 foot long and also covered in very sharp spines. All of this was packed into a tiny area so every time you turned around you bumped into something sharp!! Gloves helped but only covered the hands, and were defenseless against the Gru Gru Palm's needles.

While we were clearing out the " Danger Zone " we unveil;ed a few Palms that were lost in the overgrown mess. One of which is a Spiney Fiber Palm ( Trithrinax acanthocoma ) which is a very interesting Palm Tree that was completely out of sight. The fronds are amazing looking and the trunk is covered in a hairy fashion. The other Palms that we discovered are unknown at this time as they are to young to give us enough information to identify them, but we will one day!!

The upside is that we are finished with the " Danger Zone " and I must say it looks great!! There are before and after pictures at Another Yard In Fort Pierce, you can click here to see them!!

Here are a few pictures that I took while I was working and they are of the Gru Gru Palm ( Acrocomia aculeate ) and the Spiney Fiber Palm ( Trithrinax acanthocoma ). Enjoy!!


byrningbunny said...

Somehow it never occurred to me that palm trees could be so dangerous! :)
Good job!!