Golden Gate Palms & Exotics

Dear Landscape Professionals & Palm Lovers:

The arrival of Indian Summer is a harbinger that fall is right around the corner. In our Mediterranean climate, fall is the ideal time to put new plants in the ground. Since temperatures are cooler and day length is shorter, evaporative stess is much reduced and soon to follow are our wonderful, nourishing, seasonal rains. We have an irresistable collection of palms and exotics at the nursery waiting to find happy homes!

Golden Gate Palms News - PARTY and SALE!
We will be having an open house/open nursery/party/barbecue/sale on Saturday November 1, 2008. Come down to the nursery for some tasty burgers and dogs and enjoy Richmond's largest tropical paradise. Except for the largest Canary Palms, all plants in the nursery will be 20% OFF their regular prices! Directions

Queen Palms (15 Gallon) - ONLY $50 each
Mexican Fan Palms (Bare Root) - ONLY $75/trunk foot
We have a good selection of each of these palms but at these prices they will not last!

Plant of the Month...Brahea Brandeegei
Gary and Grove of Brahea brandegeiiSingle Brahea brandegeii

Meet Brahea brandeegei, or San Jose Hespar Palm, native to Lower California with an original home range into Upper California. This palm was pushed south into the warmer climes of the south as a result of the last ice age, which reached it's peak about 18,000 years ago. Before that, this palm occurred throughout Upper California's low elevation landscape. Because of this, the palm is ideally suited to California's climate and soil types. The Brahea genus in general is probably the most suited palm to natural conditions throughout California, no doubt due to it's millions of years of evolution here. As temperatures continue to rise, these palms would have a natural tendency to migrate northward albeit over a very long time.

So, in essence, this is a native palm to California which comes and goes depending upon current climate conditions. It is a fantastically beautiful tree, looking much like a regular, common Mexican Fan Palm that went to finishing school. The Palm is generally about 2/3 the scale of the Mexican Fan Palm, topping out it's growth at 40-50' over 100 years. The palmate foliage is a glossy green on top and chalky blue underneath giving the palm a striking multi-colored look. The petioles of the tree, when cut neatly close to the trunk, form a surealistic swirl pattern that is curiously interesting and beautiful. The bark can also be skinned off to reveal a smooth, ringed inner hard trunk that gives the tree an elegant look. The palm looks fantastic in any setting where palms are appropriate. It can hold it's own in a jungle setting, sophisticated Mediterranean estate garden, modern setting, or even street planting collonade. Where it truly shines is in an arid desert setting where it adds a bit of lush oasis feel. Of course, it's so perfectly adapted to this kind of situtation, being from Baja, that it does not require much water at all once established and fits in perfectly with other xeric plants.

Golden Gate Palms prides itself on having the largest nursery collection of these extremely hard to find palms in the world. We have all sizes from 5 gallon starter plants to 48" boxed, 25 year old specimens. In fact, we have a matching pair of these trees with 9' of trunk that would be perfect to frame the entry of a beautiful home, or a driveway entrance. Come down to the nursery and pick one out to add to your garden-while they last.

For more information on this palm and it's cousins, see Gary's colorful article about the native palms of California which appeared in the International Palm Society Journal in 2005. Article

Stay tuned for next months featured palm!

The fun continues. Only one episode left to film and the second season will be a wrap.
Read more details about the TV show at

Another Day on the Set of Superscapes
Talk about a point of view shot....Ian Levesseur, the cameraman, is living the role of the boulders Gary was moving. Hosting can be an arduous task - moving boulders, cameramen or dirt and looking happy about it! But when compared to Ian's job of squinting into a viewfinder all day with a 40 lb. piece of equipment on your shoulder, oftentimes in very uncomfortable positions, Gary has it easy.

Spectacular Installations
What would California baseball be without a row of majestic palm trees?  Next time you are at AT&T Park in San Francisco look for Golden Gate Palms beautiful collonades of Mexican Fan Palms (pure strain and hybrids).

Gary at SBC Park
Gary manipulates huge trees, even bigger equipment, timed road closures, city officials, constant traffic, lines of pedestrians, many a sidewalk supervisor, and untold numbers of curious onlookers to beautify the home of the SF Giants! But, of course, it is all worth it to have a job out in the sunshine under a blue sky. Gary never was cut out for a desk job.

International Palm News ..2000 year old palm seed germinates! Read about it in the L.A. Times:

2000 Year Old Palm Seed Germinates
Who knew something SO old could be SO cute?

SF Gate Article
Sarah Hayward did an interview about fire resistant landscapes. Read it at

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Nursery: 420 South 3rd St. Point Richmond, Ca.
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1172 Lafayette, Ca. 94549
Phone: (925) 325- PALM    Fax (925) 284-2223
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