Brown palm trees at the Oceanfront being replaced

Posted at 6:35 PM, May 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-20 18:35:17-04

Virginia Beach, Va. - Several sabal and jelly palms that call the Virginia Beach Oceanfront home are on their way out, in hopes that they'll be replaced before Memorial Day Weekend.

Why you ask?  It's all because the palms are brown, and some are even dead.

"We've had an extremely harsh winter this last winter.  And then, with the prior one, it was like a one-two punch," said Rachel Cook, general manager of the Jungle Golf on Pacific Avenue.

Crews have been on the move at the Jungle Golf to replace several palms that did not make it through the winter.

Cook says in the past, she and her team have wrapped the trees and even used spray to protect them from the elements. But this go-round, a lot of the palms didn't make it.

"The cold, then the ice and just yeah, they got a beat down," said Cook.

In just a matter of days, hundreds of people will be on the Oceanfront.  So, in order to improve the aesthetics of the city for visitors, city officials want the brown palms to look more healthy and green.

"Some of them have weathered the storm and weathered the winter and have been there for years. And some of them only a year," said Symsi Houser, operations coordinator for the city's landscape management division.

Houser says the city is responsible for several of the non-native palms at Neptune Park at 31st Street.  Most of the palms on the strip, however, belong to hotels and businesses, which they'll have to replace themselves.

"They got rotten inside.  That's where all their growth comes, right out that top right there," said Houser.

Folks are busy getting the brown trees replaced with new ones before the holiday weekend.

"It makes it look like a summer destination and a more tropical feel and beachy," said Cook.