Two palm trees in downtown Redwood City will be removed next week after they succumbed to a fungal infection.

On Sept. 17 and 18, the city’s Public Works Services Department will cut down two canary island date palm trees, one of which stands in front of the Fox Theatre and the other adjacent to Courthouse Square. The trees have already been killed by an infection called fusarium oxysporum, despite the city’s best efforts to save them.

City spokeswoman Meghan Horrigan said a number of canary palm trees in the city contracted the same disease and were treated with a preventative spray that only worked on some of them. The trees were in planted in 2007 and each one costs $35,000. Removing these two palms will cost $7,000.   

Several were removed in 2014 for the same reason, which also plagued the trees on the Embarcadero in San Francisco. The fungus is common in palm trees.

Horrigan said it could take about a year before new trees are planted at those locations because staff will need to test the roots after they are cut down to ensure they’re disease-free and won’t infect their replacement. Staff will also ensure whatever new trees are planted meet the “architectural standards” of the area. 

There will be partial road closures and a few parking spaces will be closed off during the two-day removal process.

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