Two years ago when I first visited Palm Springs I remember driving past Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve in the Coachella Valley and thinking to myself how scruffy the palm trees looked and why on earth didn’t they not groom them. I guess that is how my mind works as an Interior Designer. On this trip I took time to visit the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve and get to know the palm trees and their natural habitat. I have come away with a new appreciation for the natural beauty of the desert vegetation.   

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Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve   

The species of palm tree at Thousand Palms Preserve, know as Washingtonia filifera, has a very thick trunk and grows slowly to about 45 feet. Their life span is 150 to 200 years. The dead leaves hang vertically and form what is called a skirt around the trunk. This ‘skirt’ is a home and refuge for numerous birds, insects and lizards. Fruit stalks, extend beyond the leaves and bear masses of tiny white to cream colored flowers. During this time of year, large clusters of small hard fruit hang from the tree.

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This ‘skirt’ of the Washingtonia palms is a home and refuge for numerous birds, insects and lizards. 
One hundred and eighty animal species inhabit the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve.

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Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve is surrounded on either side by the Indio Hills.

A few weeks ago a sudden flash fire erupted (cause is not know) on the other side of the mountain from the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve. In a matter of minutes a whole grove of the Washingtonia filifera were up in flames. It caused quite a stir in the community with locals and environmentalists. In talking with the caretaker of the Thousand Palms Preserve I was told that as long as the very top of the palm tree was not totally burnt it has a chance to re new its growth from the top, however the skirt will not re grow and hence the home for local insects, birds and lizards is lost.

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A burnt out palm trunk from a fire in the 70’s at Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve has never grown new palm fronds.

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Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve is located on the San Andreas Fault
A natural spring feeds the area making the vegetation lush and green.

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Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve palm fronds
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The base of an uprooted palm tree at Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve. Palm trees they have very shallow roots. 
1000 Palms Oasis Coachella Valley Preserve

Patricia Gray Inc is an award winning Interior Design firm in Vancouver who blogs about Lifestyle and WHAT'S HOT in the world of Interior Design.
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