by Property Manager, Dawn Levinstein
First, let me start by saying the POA and the City of Palm Beach Gardens don’t like trees removed unless they are an undesirable species and unless they will be replaced with other trees. The trees along the south end of Ryder Cup Blvd are Bischofia trees which are just a step above Ficus in their level of undesirability. Click here for the University of Florida’s website which is quite clear about the fact that Bischofia trees are not a good choice, especially for “street trees”.
I have been including information about this planned project in my articles for a full year but when the work began the phones started ringing off the hook with residents who had no idea what the construction was all about. Then the rumors started (and some are really interesting) so I thought I’d try again to let everyone know what is happening even though we are hopeful that the project will be completed within the next few weeks.
The POA is only making changes between Northlake and the City Park/Preston Community entry (with existing trees left in place immediately south of each of those driveways). We are NOT widening Ryder Cup Blvd. and we are NOT continuing all the way up to PGA Blvd.
By clicking here, you will find the renderings we have on display in the POA lobby and which were shared with your HOA/Condo President at previous Council of Presidents meetings.
The Northlake Blvd. entry to PGA National has always been thought of as the “back gate” and for the past 15 years the POA Board has tried to make improvements and enhancements. But it was finally time for a complete redesign to enhance the south entry, especially with the Jog Road Turnpike tie-in and the proposed developments to be built west of PGA National. The additional traffic on Northlake Blvd that will result from developments to the west supports the Board’s opinion that this entry should reflect the beautifully maintained overall PGA National community’s appearance and that it should stop looking like “the back gate”.
We know that seeing the trees coming down was a shock but the “beautiful trees” are actually Bischofias and are very brittle, non-native, undesirable trees. Every time we have a windstorm or heavy rain, branches fall from these trees and block the roadway. The root systems are aggressive and they drop ‘fruit” periodically that take root and over time sprout into new trees. The POA authorized the removal of Bischofia “street trees” in Preston and The Island years ago and most of the residents have removed them. The University of Florida narrative contains a quote from the University experts and they too acknowledge that these trees are less than desirable.
The ficus hedge along the berm south of Preston’s exit (behind Preston Court homes) will be replaced with an arboricola hedge and will be grown to the existing height so the residents don’t lose their buffering. Also, as you can see now, the beautiful blue flowering Queens Crepe tree south of Preston’s exit lane is NOT being removed and the Oak trees on the west side of Ryder Cup Blvd. (just south of the Queens Crepe) are being relocated to the Ryder Cup Blvd. center median. Neither the POA nor the City allows or want oaks to be removed.
At each corner of Northlake Blvd., a low stone wall and pillars will be placed to mirror the main entry on a smaller scale; the wall itself will receive the same stone finish used on the monument sign. The area behind and in front of the wall will be planted with trees and shrubs. A row of Royal Palm Trees will line each side of Ryder Cup Blvd. (where the Bischofias were removed) and the Oak trees will follow the center median from Northlake Blvd. to the guardhouse. Upon completion, the redesign will open visibility, draw the eye away from the mechanical traffic control equipment the county put on the south side of Northlake Blvd., and will create a beautiful entry to PGA National.
As with all changes, we have to go through a construction phase which is always difficult and, as I stated above, a shock to see but we are doing our best to get the job done quickly. In fact, we have requested that the contractors meet a December 31st deadline. Once complete, we may need to enhance some areas but we ask for your patience during the planting and grow-in phase. We appreciate our input, as always, and trust you too will be happy with the long overdue project once it is complete.