Miami Beach Wants To Add More Shade Trees While Reducing Palm Trees, Stirring Controversy

A plan approved by the city of Miami Beach last fall that would see more shade trees planted while removing palm trees is generating controversy.

The plan also controversially calls for the complete removal and replacement of the “invasive” Australian Pines on Pine Tree Drive over a 10 year period.

The Miami Beach Urban Forestry Master Plan was approved by commissioners in October.

The plan calls for the city to plant thousands of shade trees, while reducing the number of palm trees, over a period of 30 years.

By 2050, palms should make up no more than 25% of the public tree population, the plan states. Currently, palms make up over 55% of the tree population.

There are now 48,900 trees in the city, with a 17% tree canopy. The goal is a 23% tree canopy by 2040.

Alarms were raised by Commissioner Steven Meiner, who noted that about 1,000 palm trees were being removed in the coming weeks as part of ongoing city construction projects.

A commission workshop was scheduled yesterday where the plan was to be reviewed.

 

(photo: Steven Meiner)

The plan for Pine Tree Drive:

97 Comments
most voted
newest oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Anonymous
6 months ago

We need more shade trees in Museum Park

Anonymous
6 months ago

Museum Park needs… a lot. Something missing there.

Anonymous
6 months ago

Playground? Talk about low-hanging fruit!

Anonymous
6 months ago

Dog park!!

Anonymous
6 months ago

Do we not call it Ferre Park now?

J.M.
6 months ago

I will never call it that! Museum Park forever!!!

Anonymous
6 months ago

we shouldnt cater to you anti human dog owners, go have a kid.

Anonymous
6 months ago

They can’t even clean up after their dogs, you want them to actually reproduce?

Realtalk Reilly
6 months ago

You’re not the right one to defend the human race, your mom should’ve gotten a puppy

Anonymous
6 months ago

Dog park already approved.

Anonymous
6 months ago

It needs more trees and less (or no) homeless.

Anonymous
6 months ago

I would love to see a boat anchored there with a luxury restaurant in it.

Anonymous
6 months ago

Museum park needs more activities. There’s a whole lot of open space for nothing. An outdoor exercise area would be a start.

Anonymous
6 months ago

Unlimited cruise ship exhaust!

Anonymous
6 months ago

https://www.mrowl.com/user/crystal/miami__florida_/museum_park

This picture is how I’d like to see Museum Park looking!!

Anonymous
6 months ago

That is pretty cool! Who designed that?

POLO
6 months ago

Museum Park needs basketball, tennis, volleyball courts, football (soccer) field, dog park, etc. If all those things are done, the park will come alive. The current park is mostly desolate.

Anonymous
6 months ago

“The current park is mostly desolate” and we see people coming on this site wanting more parks downtown… go figure.

Anonymous
6 months ago

Margaret Pace Park in Edgewater is a good example of how to design a resident-friendly park. That place is packed on the weekends and on weekday mornings you see exercise classes, runners, and strollers enjoying the space. Museum Park could be the same easily.

Anonymous
6 months ago

Margaret Pace park is crowded and gross.
Museum Park is better

Anonymous
6 months ago

Take it from someone who was born in Miami way, way before you were.. Maurice Ferre and Museum parks are very boring places.

Anonymous
6 months ago

Margaret Pace Park in Edgewater is a good example of how to design a minefield of dog feces.

Anonymous
6 months ago

lol….

Anonymous
6 months ago

Museum Park does not “need” all of those things. You want a busy park full of off leash dogs biting kids and loud music then go to Margaret Pace Park.

Anonymous
6 months ago

hopefully, the off-leash dog trend ends soon with the new fines being imposed!

Anonymous
6 months ago

Like most parks in Miami

Anonymous
6 months ago

Wish they plant more shade trees all over Florida.

Anonymous
6 months ago

As a result of politicizing the possibility of having a pedestrian-friendly tree canopy on the Biscayne Blvd. Today, the MiMo District looks like a tropical paradise devastated by a 10 year-long nuclear war.

Anonymous
6 months ago

And the royal palms on Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami are a joke, a few tiny fronds, 60′ in the air. Half of them look like they’re dying.

Anonymous
6 months ago

There were more “shade trees all over Florida” but hurricanes keep blowing them down. Unfortunately that’s an occurrence that will keep happening no matter how many trees they plant.

Anonymous
6 months ago

I don’t see Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, and Coral Way are desolate heat islands. It’s people cutting down trees when clearing lots to build concrete box monstrosity homes, and Florida Power & Loot telling cities to cut down decades-old trees because suddenly it interferes with their power lines they’re too cheap to underground, even with government compensation at the same price as the tree removal and replacement.

Anonymous
6 months ago

Are you saying when a hurricane hits Miami a lot of trees DON’T get toppled?

Anonymous
6 months ago

More shade trees on Biscayne and cut one lane on each side. Make Miami more walkable!

Anonymous
6 months ago

What’s the problem, can’t you walk anytime you want?

Anonymous
6 months ago

City of Miami, are you listening?
We do need more trees too.
And Metromover

Anonymous
6 months ago

and shore power

Anonymous
6 months ago

Miami Beach is always ahead when it comes to planning

Anonymous
6 months ago

And architecture
For sure.

Anonymous
6 months ago

There were more trees in Miami and the last hurricane blew down thousands of them. That will continue to happen because Miami is a hurricane prone area.

Anonymous
6 months ago

Plant South Florida endemic trees instead

Anonymous
6 months ago

You know how many palm trees I see knocked over and beheaded from hurricanes while hundred-year-old oaks trimmed properly continue to stand?

Anonymous
6 months ago

It takes Oak trees many decades to grow a root system strong enough to withstand a hurricane with just category two winds. Palms and Coconut trees that are native to Miami will bend even in strong winds, therefore, they are more conducive to be in South Florida weather.

Anonymous
6 months ago

Metromover already gives shade while simultaneous destroying the cityscape. Funny how people want I-95 dismantled but have no problem with another flyover on streets we want to be walkable.

NYC Loves Miami
6 months ago

I actually like how the metromover looks.

Anonymous
6 months ago

Look, ignore that country bumpkin…

Anonymous
6 months ago

Much a do about nothing. Anyone that walks or bikes would appreciate the additional shade.

Trees are not being wholesale removed .. only as part of construction projects.

Anonymous
6 months ago

They should be doing this for downtown and brickell honestly

Anonymous
6 months ago

The most specials neighborhoods in miami like coconut grove and coral gables are full of canopy trees. Create canopies all over miami.

Anonymous
6 months ago

Why can’t we have both?

Anonymous
6 months ago

That’s the plan

Anonymous
6 months ago

How about leave the palm trees and add more shade trees? We’d lit that 23% goal much faster.

Anonymous
6 months ago

Hit not lit.

Anonymous
6 months ago

Miami beach is very dense, there is not much open space to plant trees. They need to remove some palms to be able to plant more shade trees.

Anonymous
6 months ago

We need more shade trees in south Florida in general. Our parks would be a million times better if the paths were lined with shade trees. Especially in the summer.

Anonymous
6 months ago

I have been hounding Miami Dade County to plant more trees throughout their parks, like how hard is it. It doesn’t even cost that much, plus something they get corporate donations to plant trees.

Anonymous
6 months ago

Yeah. Funny how some developers call a lawn esplanade a park. Talking about the new little Brickell “park” right behind 600 Brickell, the Southside Park by the Brickell Station, the Maurice Ferre Park next to the Frost Museum, the Margaret Pace Park in Edgewater, and the Midtown lawn esplanade to mention a few in my area. I wish Miami had a real park with bunch of trees like NY’s Central Park located in the Downtown/South Beach area, I guess the only land available that could be transformed is Bayfront Park.

Anonymous
6 months ago

Miami does have a nice park, it’s called the “Everglades National Park.”

Ever been there?

Anonymous
6 months ago

Please read the whole comment. It clearly states “…located in the Downtown/South Beach area”.

Anonymous
6 months ago

Ha!.. let’s remove the Palm Trees but fool the tourist into thinking they’ll see Palm Trees when they get here by showing Palm Trees in brochures.

Anonymous
6 months ago

Brochures?

Anonymous
6 months ago

Uh, yeah.. believe or not, tourism in Miami is still hyped with brochures.

Anonymous
6 months ago

Please don’t remove any palm trees. They make Miami special.

Anonymous
6 months ago

A city shouldn’t be only something pretty to look at but something functional and liveable.

Anonymous
6 months ago

*livable

Bryan Riley
6 months ago

👏🏾 Why is this so hard for people to understand

Anonymous
6 months ago

Having a palm tree falling on your car while driving makes Miami very special as well.

Anonymous
6 months ago

How often do palm trees fall on your car while driving? Did you have a coconut fall on your head?

Anonymous
6 months ago

Charleston, South Carolina, considered one of the most walkable cities in the country with a climate similar to Florida is known for its palm trees and has plenty of shade trees, too.

Fernando Gomez
6 months ago

Yes – on removing Invasive Australian pines. They were brought here by Henry Flagler in the early 1900s to dry out the Florida swamp. Each tree sucks up 1000s of gallon of water.

No to replacing Palm with shade trees. They are a lot to maintain, a hazard during hurricanes, and the roots breach storm drains notwithstanding all the leaves that end up in the storm drains. Shade also invites vagrancy. Have only a limited # of shade trees, and as many Palm trees as possible. Miami is unique and beautiful and known for all the Palm Trees. Coconut trees do provide some shade.

Anonymous
6 months ago

>Shade also invites vagrancy

Wow! Surprised to see the “we can’t have nice things because homeless” is against shade too!

Anonymous
6 months ago

That’s the reason why most bus stops are not protected. They rather let an older person dehydrate under the sum or getting soaking wet in the rain than build something that can be used by a homeless person.

Anonymous
6 months ago

Correct. I live in Brickell and most of the bus stops are already taken by homeless people.

Anonymous
6 months ago

No, the Australian pines on Pine Tree Dr. were planted by John Collins as a wind barrier to protect his tropical fruit crops (which ultimately failed anyway, which is why he sold the land to Carl Fisher). And, bro, the scare-mongering on homelessness is not a good look.

Anonymous
6 months ago

Yes. Henry Flagler did import Australian pines to dry out the swamp. That was explained to me by an Everglades tour guide. I am sure other wealthy industrialists did the same, but Flagler was big on doing this.
Shade invites loitering. Sun keeps people moving.

Anonymous
6 months ago

LOL if the sun keeps people moving, what’s with the beach?

Anonymous
6 months ago

False. Melaleuca was brought over to drain the Everglades. Screw them, carrotwood, Brazilian pepper, and Queensland umbrella trees.

Australian pines were brought over as a windbreaker and quick source of wood. In some places were deliberately planted, they look nice and the noise on a windy day is soothing. Such historic scenic areas should be kept and the trees and replacements regulated. Don’t allow and eradicate everywhere else.

Anonymous
6 months ago

the misinformation on here is astounding. talk isnt cheap; its free. that’s why anybody can afford to do it. the real cost is a dumber fcking society because some person passed along the information another person gave them without factually verifying it. “australian pines” (latin name: casuarina) are not, in fact the trees brought over to drain the everglades. that is the paperback tree (latin name: melaleuca). both are indigenous to australia but are totally different trees. stop acting like the authority on information in which you have no idea as to what you’re talking about it’s a really bad look. start fact checking. if you so desperately seek attention for unjust authority become a cop. they’re pretty good at that. it also takes very little effort since i can tell picking up a book or doing research isn’t your thing. be better

Anonymous
6 months ago

They are removing 75-80%. Miami Beach is not meant to look like Jacksonville or Orlando. Completely going to loose it’s appeal. Take away the late night partying like the mayor wants too and Miami Beach wills simply turn into a regular Florida coastal resort city…..except with much less palm trees than every coastal resort city. I hope they put a gigantic nursing home right on the middle of Collins 😂

Anonymous
6 months ago

What do trees and shade have to do with partying hooligans at night?

POLO
6 months ago

Not a good idea in hurricane alley.

Anonymous
6 months ago

plant those trees after hurricane season

Anonymous
6 months ago

But.. every year brings another hurricane season?

Anonymous
6 months ago

The shade tree growers need to make a living to.

Anonymous
6 months ago

Thank God, hopefully the county follows, to make Miami dade more walkable in the spring/summer.

Anonymous
6 months ago

Here’s a thought– rip out all the Washingtonias. They’re not native, and they make Miami look like Los Angeles.

Anonymous
6 months ago

City of Miami Beach planted shade trees on Dade blvd. between Meridian and Convention Center Drive. They’re all dead. Everything else around there is flourishing..

Anonymous
6 months ago

Shade trees that will have a nice canopy that are relatively hurricane proof.
Don’t want to have a small storm go by and have just a bunch of sticks remaining where trees used to be.

Remove the dying palms. Plant the shade trees, when they get reasonably mature, then remove (transplant) any Palm that is needed. Move it to the anywhere. Find a street and put it in the median to dress up any other street.

Anonymous
6 months ago

Leave pine tree dr alone you dummies!! Plant all the shade trees you want, why mess with what’s already been there for generations? Unbelievable…

Anonymous
6 months ago

The trees are heavily diseased, dying, and past their life expectancy. Not much more you can do. Hard to plant anything nearby as they are invasive too.

Anonymous
6 months ago

Seriously? This is what we are spending money on? Why don’t they worry about what they are doing to mitigate the low lying flood areas before worrying about PALM TREES!

Anonymous
6 months ago

A 16in trunk diameter live oak tree would remove 510lb of carbon dioxide, 20oz of harmful ozone, and intercept 725 gallons of rainfall per year.

By contrast, a native sabal palmetto palm of the same dimensions would absorb only 2.7lb of carbon dioxide, 1.7oz of ozone, and 81 gallons of rainfall.

“Trees have been proven to be one of the most effective tools for mitigating the effects of climate change,” the plan, drawn up by urban and landscape experts in conjunction with the Florida forestry service, states.

Anonymous
6 months ago

So by your logic let’s rip up every palm tree in Florida then for oak trees. Got it

Anonymous
6 months ago

Lol didn’t say that, and the above is a quote from a recent Herald article. Palms are cool too, but we have too many of them. Also, Oaks don’t do well in hurricanes, there are better shade tree options. Any other questions?

Anonymous
6 months ago

Since China and India are bigger producers of Carbon than America, we need to tell them to plant more shade trees.

Anonymous
6 months ago

That would be a waycissum (never mind Russia is also a major polluter).

Anonymous
6 months ago

Facts and logic from professional arborists don’t apply when you put a portly Swedish ogre on TV and bash cars, airplanes, cruise ships, plastic straws, and cows for making the sky fall for the seventh time since global warming came to attention in the 1980s.

Anonymous
6 months ago

i agree — and in most areas that would be fine, but this isn’t most areas. yes, live oaks are among the more wind resistant trees, but nothing, and i mean nothing has the aerodynamics of a palm. live oaks are INCREDIBLY slow growers in the soil we have in south florida. they can take 20+ years to reach maturity and completely dessimated in one storm. conifers also have large sprawling root structures which is absolutely stupid to plant in an urban environment. they tear up roads sidewalks and even foundations. palm roots do not and they grow much faster reducing turn around time. they are less likely to fail in a storm to begin with. they don’t have the leverage on the crown like big canopy trees. canopy can be achieved with palms, they just need to be planted in clusters. im not saying don’t plant any canopy trees but i DEFINITELY would not make them the majority or new normal. the place will look more like a desert than it already does. miami just needs more trees period, but the ones that will last in a storm. im all for carbon footprint reduction, but what good is it when all of your efforts are destroyed in a storm. it only takes one