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Dear Friends and Fellow Palm Enthusiasts, 

I know this sounds strange, but I swear it’s true.

The City of Miami, Florida has banned the planting of coconut palms on Miami’s streets!

How do I know this?


About a year and a half ago I planted the baby coconut palm you see in this picture, in a circular street median near my house, to replace one that a City of Miami truck had knocked over.  (I planted that felled coconut back in 1991, as well as the tall one you see next to the baby.)

Three months ago the City of Miami issued me a “Notice of Violation - Potential Property Lien”, with a possible $500 a day fine, for allegedly having planted that baby coconut palm without a permit.  (It turned out I actually do have a permit, but the city doesn’t seem inclined to honor it.  There are some strange plot twists to this story.)  

During my subsequent conversations with the city they told me that they banned the coconut palm from the City of Miami’s streets, and possibly its parks as well!

You can read a newspaper story about this bizarre episode by clicking here.

The whole scenario was so weird that I asked to appear before the Miami City Commission.  

You can watch my presentation to the Miami City Commission here.  The video is about a half-hour long.

(Once you get to that website, scroll about halfway down the list of agenda items and click on the second of two items labled “PA.4 Personal Appearance - Elvis Cruz")




The coconut palm has been planted on Miami’s streets for longer than the 120 years Miami has existed.

It is an iconic part of Miami’s history, image and culture.

And, oddly enough, at the same time the City of Miami is prosecuting me for having planted a coconut palm on a street, the City of Miami itself has been planting coconut palms on its streets!  Here’s a couple of examples:



These coconut palms were recently planted on NW North River Drive at approx 5 avenue, as part of a city street project.



This trio of coconut palms was very recently planted on 27th Avenue and Tigertail.  

Has the city banned private citizens from getting permits to plant the coconut palm on neighborhood streets, while continuing to plant them itself?  Or is it a case of one department of the city not knowing what another is doing?  

Or, as some have told me, is one particular outspoken citizen being selectively targeted?


It gets even weirder.  Here you can see that the City of Miami has just planted at least a dozen large, mature coconut palms around its new dock master building, right next to Miami City Hall.

A double standard?

As Miami City Commissioner Ken Russell noted in this newspaper interview, one of the largest local purchasers of coconut palms is the City of Miami itself!

The coconut ban was instituted by the city administration, with no public notice, public hearing or public input.  As I was told by a city official, it is a policy, not a law.  It has never been voted on by the Miami City Commission.  It was done without our elected representative’s knowledge or consent.  It is not written in the city code.

Why did the city administration ban the coconut palm?  Fear of possible liability from falling coconuts, they said.  But that can be easily solved by not planting them next to parking spaces, and by letting freelance harvesters pick them.  (There are coconut harvesters who will come and pick coconuts for free; they then sell them to restaurants or markets.)

Understandably, the good citizens of Coconut Grove have been particularly displeased about the ban.  

They certainly don’t want the city to ban the coconut from Coconut Grove!

A Coconut Grove homeowner’s association passed a resolution asking to end the ban.  And one Coconut Grove resident has started an on-line petition to end the ban. 

Could you please help?   

Please click here to sign the petition to keep the coconut palm in Miami and in Coconut Grove.  And feel free to add your comments.

Signing the petition takes less than a minute, but it will help protect over 120 years of history and tradition.

(If the petition website puts you on a mailing list you can easily unsubscribe.)

Please feel encouraged to forward this email to anyone you think might care about protecting Miami’s cultural heritage.

Thank you very much, 

Elvis Cruz


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Wish I could post pictures but keep getting the window pop up stating it's not possible. The 2nd try, it did.


Searle Brothers Nursery Inc.

and The Rainforest Collection.

Southwest Ranches,Fl.

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Photo test.

Drupe diameter as follows for three representative drupes picked at random:

Least cross-sectional diameter:

1. 1.642

2. 1.480

3. 1.590

Greatest cross-sectional diameter:

1. 1.745

2. 1.715

3. 1.650


palm drupe cluster 1.jpg

palm habit 1.jpg

palm inflorescence 2.jpg

palm leaf inferior.jpg

palm superior leaf face.jpg

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5 year high 42.2C/108F (07/06/2018)--5 year low 4.6C/40.3F (1/19/2023)--Lowest recent/current winter: 4.6C/40.3F (1/19/2023)


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