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Palm trees outgrow Botanical Gardens

When most gardeners deal with a plant that has outgrown its pot, they transplant it into a larger one.

The Botanical Gardens can't do that when it comes to 50-foot-tall palm trees.

On Friday, workers were busy removing two palms that had outgrown the Main Palm Dome. They will be replaced with 14 new palms of different varieties.

"It's a new beginning," said Erin Grajek, associate vice president of marketing. "We're saying goodbye to two palms and welcoming many new additions to our horticulture family."

The palms were growing too tall for the space, and there were concerns the trees would have nowhere to go other than right into the glass dome. They will now be repurposed. Parts will be used to train docents to share knowledge of palm trees with school groups and visitors. Other materials will be used in educational workshops.

A palm tree has outgrown its digs at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

A palm tree has outgrown its digs at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

The new palms include species native to the tropical pacific, the rainforests of Papua New Guinea, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba.

Removal and acquisition costs were paid for by longtime Botanical supporters John and Carol Kociela.

Greenhouses 2 and 3 have been closed to the public since April 2015 for extensive renovations. But the construction project is expected to be completed in the next couple of weeks.

The masonry and brick inside and out are being repaired and repointed. There is also steel and wood refurbishment and replacement, glazing work and glass replacement, heating system repairs and temperature updates.

Also, the misting and fogging system is being repaired, the emergency system updated, new lighting installation, repairs to the Koi pond and waterfall, and interior and exterior painting.

New exhibits are expected to open in January 2017.

email: msommer@buffnews.com

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