The Ministry of Public Works is responding to a recent report of palm trees being removed from the Ocean View Golf Course and later relocated to a private residence in Smiths Parish.
The Ministry can report that 12 Canary Island Date Palms were relocated as part of an exchange authorised by the Golf Course Board of Trustees in 2019 in consultation with the Minister.
To reduce expenditure by the Trustees in many areas, the decision was taken to replace the large, mature palms due to the high cost of maintaining them and as part of an overall effort by the then board and the Ocean View Golf Course personnel to reduce their operating costs.
Canary Palms grow to a considerable height, requiring extensive maintenance, including pruning, trimming and frequent clearing of dead or rotting fronds and fruit stalks.
The Golf Course Board of Trustees, acting on the recommendation of the former golf course superintendent, arranged for Brown and Company Landscape Gardeners and Tree Surgeons to remove these palms and replace them with lower maintenance Spindle Palms at no cost to the golf course or the Bermuda Government.
Efforts to replace the trees began in earnest in 2020. However, they were ultimately halted for an extended time due to the impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic in 2020.
At that time, the landscaping firm placed the palm trees in its nursery for later use. However, when it came time to complete the job in May, the landscaping firm no longer needed the palm trees.
That final phase was carried out last week by Atlantic Construction and saw the remaining nine palms removed and all 12 replaced with the Spindle Palms.
The Ministry has been informed that Atlantic Construction had found a home for these trees at a private residence that planted them on their property.
The Canary Island Date Palms, which were Government property by extension and carried a value of up to a few hundred dollars per foot, were exchanged in a like-for-like arrangement.
As such, the Ministry understands that the ultimate recipient of the Canary Palms was not required to pay for them, as they were the property of Atlantic Construction, which carried out the replacement work at no cost to the Government.
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