Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Palm trees are slowly being cut down in Florida due to rising temperatures
Florida could soon be home to the world’s tallest trees – after the state governor announced plans to remove the most vulnerable from its landscape.
Speaking at a 2017 forum on climate change, governor Rick Scott said state government would begin moving away from unsustainable palm cultivation.
Mr Scott is aiming to cut the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.
Gardens are in demand around the world, as demand for shade increases with global warming.
To attract more that 500 million tourists and close the gap between the current climate and that of the future, the state is investing in sustainable gardens, heat-loving plants, which have potential to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
However, if current trends continue, palm trees could overtake the world’s tallest trees, such as the Aconcagua in Argentina, by the year 2100.
Currently it takes 2,200 gallons of water to grow a palm tree. Over the next two decades, with rising temperatures, the Florida drapes of pines and beech are expected to lose this precious resource.
To replace this and provide shelter for a million tourists and a steady supply of fresh air, the governor’s office plans to remove and replace 3,000 acres of wooded land by 2020.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Aconcagua mountain in Argentina stands at 21,510 ft (6,045 m). Florida’s tallest plant will be 51,000 ft high (16,500 m)
Stuart Police, the Florida division director for Florida Partners for the SEED Project, told BBC News that Florida has ‘unequivocally’ become a ‘climate train wreck’.
Although the Epcot centre’s Disney Legend tree has always attracted visitors to the theme park, growing South American pines, he says, could ‘become a game changer’.
“The heat that comes from this process is the same as if you put it into a greenhouse… It’s slowly destroying the agricultural landscapes of America,” he added.
“The warmer the climate, the more we need those trees.”
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The smallest palm tree, the needle palm at 10ft (3m) is only about 60% as tall as Florida’s tallest palm