Historic Markers Across Florida



Historic Banyan Trees



Marker ID: FLHM F-720
Location: Mac Arthur Blvd, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
County: Palm Beach
Coordinates: N 26° 48.542    W 080° 05.257
  26.80903333    -80.08761666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMRP5J
 



Text:

Historic Banyan Trees


These two Banyan trees (Ficus benghalensis), with a combined limb spread encompassing one-half acre, form the entrance to the City of Palm Beach Gardens. Palm Beach Gardens was developed by insurance magnate and philanthropist John D. MacArthur. He envisioned his 4,000-acre development as a “garden city" for 55,000 people and chose the name Palm Beach Gardens after his initial choice, Palm Beach City, was denied by the Florida Legislature because of its similarity to nearby Palm Beach. The city was incorporated on June 20, 1959, as a “paper town," meaning that at that point it existed only on paper. To showcase his new community, in 1960 MacArthur purchased an 80-year-old Banyan tree in nearby Lake Park that was threatened with destruction. The tree, weighing 75 tons and with a limb spread of 125 feet, required 1,008 hours of labor and $30,000 to move it to its new home in Palm Beach Gardens. A second, smaller Banyan tree weighing 40 tons, also threatened with destruction, was moved from Lake Park by MacArthur the following year. The trees are featured on the Palm Beach Gardens city shield and stand proudly today at the city’s entrance.





F-720 Seminole Chapter, NSDAR
and the Florida Department of State
2011