Landscapers charged with sourcing the trees are now scouring the Bay Area for fine examples, like Suisun City's David Kling's two Canary Island date palms, for which they're paying $1,000 to $1,500 apiece. We are guessing the poor trees will go into shock upon arriving at the chilly Bay, which is a far cry from the warmer climes of the North Bay, but maybe the landscapers know better. The lush Canary Island palms, the same kind that are planted along the Embarcadero, are hardy but they're also vulnerable to something called Fusarium Wilt, which has recently killed 26 of the Embarcadero trees.
They may be a perfectly fine and pretty choice, however, as long as they avoid disease, and Mike Sullivan, author of "The Trees of San Francisco," told the Chron in 2006 that the Canary Island palms "do extremely well in our climate."
We can't find a rendering anywhere of the planned location of the trees, but they will apparently be planted all along the center of the eastern span, in graduating heights, starting with the approach at the Oakland shore. The trees on the western portion of the span won't be planted until after the bridge opens to traffic. But anyone who's spotted a rendering is encouraged to share. The plantings, which will include some other fauna as well, are all part of a contract for finishing work to connect the new bridge to the existing toll plaza. [Update: According to this simulation, all the trees will be only on the approach to the bridge, not on the bridge itself.]
And if you have a Canary Island palm tree you'd like to get rid of, you should email [email protected], and you might get paid for it.
As we discussed a couple weeks back, the official word is that the bridge will not open as planned on Labor Day but will likely open in December, however a last-ditch effort at a quick-fix to the cracked bolt problem may be underway, and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission seemed intrigued by the idea. So stay tuned for more on that.