Temporary Transbay Terminal Palms Arrive (
A plugged-in and camera phone toting (hint, hint) tipster reports:

Given your previous coverage both of the topic of palm trees in SF and the construction of the temporary Transbay bus terminal at Howard and Main, I thought you’d appreciate the attached photo…yep, the palm trees have arrived and are going in!

UPDATE: Another plugged-in tipster heeds the hints and ads an aerial perspective:
Transbay Terminal Palms Aerial (
And remember, those camera’s can capture more than just palms.
Temporary Transbay Bus Terminal: First Prefab Buildings Placed [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Palm Broker

    Looks like a load of Washingtonia robusta, the Mexican fan palm.
    [Editor’s Note: Cheers (and headline adjusted accordingly).]

  2. Posted by waiting2nest

    I like palm trees, but I’ve always thought they looked out of place in San Francisco. San Francisco is not a tropical city!

  3. Posted by Joe

    Thats your perception – not all palms grow in tropical locations – mostly it matters that where they grow is frost free.
    San Francisco is frost free year round and obviously several species of palms thrive here.
    Get over it.
    Next gripe.

  4. Posted by futuresfbuyer

    Well I have to agree palm trees look nice, I know they may not be native to San Francisco,But you know large Red Oak trees like seen in muir woods might look a bit strange also, I do hear peoples opinions about it all looking a bit Miami like, but I’m from Ireland and they have palm trees along coastal beaches there and trust me they aren’t they type of tree one would expect with the rainy climate there. Anyway whats the news on Infinity, One rincon, SF-BLU, Metropolitan, Millenium Towers (second thoughts never mind MT its too expensive) !!

  5. Posted by RSVP

    When the weather is nice once in a while I like to stroll up and down the palm tree lined Embarcadero. It’s a treat for me to be near the bay, enjoy the views, people watch and even share it with the pigeons. The weather just always seems warmer along there. Maybe it really is or maybe it’s just psychological since I like warm vacation destinations, near water, gentle breezes, great food and not a care in the world. Maybe it’s a little of both. Whatever it is, I like it.

  6. Posted by anon

    I’ve always laughed at the “tropical” perception of palm trees. Go to a tropical rain forest and see how many palm trees are there. Palms mostly grow anywhere that it doesn’t freeze much. A lot more palms (palmettos, not trees) in South Carolina than there are near the Amazon.

  7. Posted by sleepiguy

    I love the palms! More palms! It’s interesting, even though people complain about their not being a native species, if you look at historical photos of, say, Cow Hollow from the turn of the century, there were actually quite a few palms (though not of this variety) planted here and there…

  8. Posted by Jimmy (No Longer Bitter)

    San Franciscans will complain about anything. Personally I think palm trees are a great addition to any urban setting.

  9. Posted by anon

    Also, don’t forget about the TBT webcam.
    You can see the trees being installed right now.
    Also some more concrete was being poured this morning. Pretty close to completion now.

  10. Posted by Mole Man

    Palms are not good choices for urban trees for a number of reasons. They provide little shade, they dump particularly problematic waste from their crowns as they grow, they function like big blades of grass and filter out little carbon or particulates compared to other trees. There is more, but those are the big factors. Urban trees have a number of uses, and palms are expensive and problematic while being less useful. We’ll all be over it when these finally get ripped out as most decorative palms eventually are.

  11. Posted by I heart palm trees

    Mole man, there is little enough sunlight downtown. We certainly don’t need more shade from trees! Especially in a cold and often overcast city such as SF.
    There are tons of palms that have been around for decades without being removed. So I don’t think it is even close to say ‘most are eventually removed.’
    And air cleaning? It would take a forest of leafy trees forever to clean the diesel exhaust produced by one Amtrack bus in one minute. With all the fresh air blowing in from the pacific each day I doubt trees contribute more than a tiny fraction of one percent to SF’s air quality.

  12. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: Another plugged-in tipster heeds the hints and ads an aerial perspective above. And remember, those camera’s can capture more than just palms (i.e., we’re always looking for a plugged-in pic).

  13. Posted by Joe

    Anyone else see any parallels between the Obama health plan town halls – and what passes for democratic discussion in SF?
    Mole man is basically holding up a picture of a palm tree with a hitler moustache.. I mean its a GD tree! A palm tree makes more of a mess than a deciduous tree which loses all of its leaves once a year?
    Some people are never ever happy with anything, and have nothing positive to add to any discussion

  14. Posted by sleepiguy

    Some people really hate trees… Every time a street tree conversation starts here any number of people jump in to bash them. Of all the things wrong with this city, why flip out over street trees?
    That said, they just planted a bunch of magnolias mid-Polk and I’m not sure that was entirely successful.

  15. Posted by jamie

    Ahh … finally, something that looks interesting on the Temporary Terminal lot. I’m hoping they paint up the temporary buildings a bit too … hmm…

  16. Posted by EBGuy

    Pay no attention to those kooks at NASA:
    What roles do trees play in the “urban heat island” phenomenon? Basically there are two important roles tree canopies play:
    1. The forest canopy is very efficient in dissipating the solar energy received by transpiring water from leaf surfaces which cools the air by taking “heat” from the air to evaporate the water.
    2. In shading surfaces like asphalt, roofs, and concrete parking lots which prevents initial heating and storage of heat.
    Joe, are you astroturfing for the palm tree lobby? 🙂

  17. Posted by lolcat_94123

    I still don’t understand all the hype for a damn bus terminal.

  18. Posted by Mike Sullivan

    I love Palms, especially the Canary Island Palms (the ones you see in the Embarcadero, on Dolores, and in the middle of upper Market Street), which I now associate with SF (you certainly don’t see them much in LA).

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