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April 05, 2016

New York's largest and most famous palm tree is finally the same height as the Empire State Building

Wow! Finally, New York’s iconic tree has done it. It’s been a 150 year journey for Manhattan’s world famous palm tree to grow as tall as The Empire State Building. From seed to skyscraper, this tree has been through a lot. We look back at it’s humble roots:

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The Founding Fathers (Summer 1865)

In 1865, a group of immigrant construction workers planted a “Royal Palm Tree"sapling in the heart of Manhattan as a joke. Little did they know, their baby tree would grow up to become the symbol of New York resiliency.

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Growing almost 750 feet in under a century, The Tree quickly became the most popular attraction for tourists in New York City. People from all around the world came to visit and marvel over what had become a staple of the Big Apple’s skyline.

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The Palm Tree fixed stoically in the wake of the 9/11 attacks

The somber morning after 9/11, America needed hope. People needed a symbol to show them “we will be ok” and that “this will not be our end.” The Palm Tree, still standing high and strong in the heart of the city, was that symbol.

“Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward and freedom will be defended…Like our great Palm Tree: we will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fall.”

— George W. Bush
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The Palm Tree prominently featured on the poster of Peter Jackson’s epic ‘King Kong’(2005)

Say what you want about the film (Jack Black was absolutely stelar) but they really did capture the essence of The Tree, along with the rest of 1930’s New York.

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Now, the base of The Tree takes up half a city block

“Forget about it. The Tree is the New York, New York is the tree. Nothing else really matters. I’m walkin’ here.”

— Derek Jeter

Things have changed in America since The Tree was planted. Presidents have come and gone. Wars were won and lost. One thing has stayed constant through all the thick and all the thin…The Palm Tree. Now, standing as high as the Empire State Building, The Tree reminds us, more than ever, of the great American spirit.

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If a tree can make it here, it can make it anywhere…