HANFORD — You may not have noticed, but the palm trees in Civic Park and Courthouse Square have received a rejuvenating makeover.
Recently, eight ailing or dead palm trees were replaced with healthy new specimens.
“It’s the way it’s supposed to look. It’s part of downtown,” Richard Gonzales of Richard’s Tree Service said.
Gonzales’ company removed four ailing trees and replanted the eight new ones. Four of the new trees were planted in empty spots where dying trees have been removed in recent years. One formerly empty spot was located near the Civic Auditorium while the remaining three could be found at Courthouse Square.
The heavy-duty gardening work took about one week.
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Gonzales said that the new trees planted at Courthouse Square are an appropriate touch, given their history.
Mature palm trees can cost up to $20,000 each to purchase, transport and plant. But the newest palms downtown were donated Jerry Lemos. The trees came from Lemos’ Grangeville Boulevard residence, which is known locally as O’Rourke Ranch. The ranch was owned by Hanford Judge John O’Rourke prior to his 2017 death.
The same trees that provided the O’Rourke Ranch with shade for so many years will now sway in the wind outside of the office he held for so long.
The trees were set to be destroyed before they found new life and a new home downtown, Gonzales said.