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Corpus Christi replaces palm trees that died in February deep freeze

Corpus Christi palm planting replaces trees that died in February deep freeze
Posted at 4:45 PM, Sep 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-27 11:14:55-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — More than half a year later, the impact of February's deep freeze is still being felt across the Coastal Bend.

Immediately after temperatures spent days well below freezing, it looked like all of Corpus Christi's palm trees were dead.

Thankfully most of them survived, and now those that didn't along Ocean Drive are getting replaced.

"That’s part of our culture here in Corpus Christi," Interim Parks and Recreation Department Director Dante Gonzalez said. "It is Corpus Christi, right? Palm trees, the beach, tourism. People come and visit. So it’s important for us to have those trees.”

One hundred and eight palms died in Ocean Drive parks and medians between Ennis Joslin Road and Furman Avenue.

The city is replacing each one either at exactly the same location as the tree that died or nearby.

That's a relief to Corpus Christi residents and visitors alike.

"Our palm trees are what make Corpus feel sort of tropical," resident Adeline Puumala said. "It’s got that tourist attraction, and it’s one of the most beautiful plants that we’ve got down here."

"It’s a blessing, because we have to keep our city beautiful,” said Alice Salas, a Sinton resident, who visits frequently.

It cost the city around $20,000 to remove the dead palm trees along Ocean Drive, and replacing them is costing around $150,000.

Gonzalez says some of that money was already earmarked for maintenance of the existing trees, and the rest comes from other Parks and Recreation funds.

Contract workers are planting around 30 trees per week, and Gonzalez expects them to be finished in four to five weeks.

He says the project is important, because it's helping to make a scenic stretch of the city even more beautiful.

“When you come to Corpus Christi, that’s something you take back with you," Gonzalez said.