We bought our house in 1964. It had a tiny palm tree in the front yard. So tiny, in fact, that its fronds couldn't support the light snowfall we had in January 1965.
By 1975, the palm tree was about 12 feet tall. On July 4, while we were on vacation in Estes Park, Colorado, some vandals set fire to the tree. When we arrived home, there was nothing left but a charred black stump. Our neighbors urged us to have it removed, but we're procrastinators by nature and we didn't do anything about it. A couple of months later, we were delighted to find bright green shoots emerging from the top of the stump.
Now, in 2006, you can see vestiges of the burning in the bark. But most of the charring has worn away or has been separated out as the trunk of the tree increases in girth.
The tree is healthy and continues to grow. It lives on the groundwater and has never been irrigated.
Unlike most urban Tucsonans, we refuse to prune the old fronds. At various times they have been home to wasps and birds.
Woodpeckers love the trunk.
With the projected drought for this year, for the first time in 31 years, I worry about its fate.