Brighton Marina

Palm trees at Brighton Marina

With a street name such as Palm Drive, it’s not surprising X Leisure, the owners of Brighton Marina complex, wanted a suitable exotic planting scheme to show off their new marina and shopping area. Unfortunately, knowing the British weather as we do, live palm trees weren’t an option for the windy, exposed site if the owners wanted their investment in the plants to last long term and still look good.

The solution

Owners X Leisure raised an eyebrow at our suggestion to use preserved palm trees for the project, but having seen an example of our award winning palms at Manchester’s Trafford Centre, they were soon confident that our idea would work.

Preserved palms are in fact real palms, the trunk is part of a real palm tree preserved in special fluid whilst the fronds are usually either silk or a specialist plastic for outdoor use. That’s why the palms look so realistic, plus the hollow trunk makes the plant versatile, such as for installing lights or security cameras.

A specialist team at our Waltham Abbey nursery sourced the individual parts for the palms, then spent a few weeks building nineteen of these trees, each measuring six metres tall. Special cherry-picker machines were hired to erect the palms on site at the Marina and tree barriers were added for safety, and to preserve the long life of the tree.

The result

Capable of tolerating winds up to 80 miles per hour, the palms have certainly withstood the British weather. The fronds have also successfully retained their colour and not succumbed to sun bleaching or fraying. The owners are delighted with the street planting which has certainly been a talking point in the town.

Expert tip

Greenleaf is one of only a handful of companies in the UK who have the technical experience to build and erect preserved palm trees above 1.8metres. As well as popular sites within the UK, we have also installed palm trees in Dubai, Marseilles and Turkey.