Recently, I became more familiar with the use of the fronds from Mexican (Washingtonia robusta) fan palm trees. You may have seen thatched roofs (palapa’s) on Mexican beaches offering shade while you sip a bebida. This time, I came upon the renovation of an old house damaged in a flash flood where fan palm fronds were being used to install siding. I checked further and noted the nearby trimming of the fronds/petioles from the skirt around a tree. An admirable, yet arduous task it seemed.

fan palm siding Wentworth Canyon SwittersB

Nearby, I found the source for the fronds….

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The renovator has gone in under the skirt of the tree and trimmed away at the thick petioles that attach the frond to the trunk of the tree….

fan palms trimmed-desert-Andreas Canyon-SwittersB

Lumber must be scarce or the person has a penchant for immediately available, natural materials…

fan palm roof-Andreas Canyon-desert-SwittersB
A palapa/canopy near Andreas Creek a few miles from the renovation project.

A replica of an Agua Caliente Cahuilla structure using the same fan palm fronds & materials from the tree’s skirt….

Agua Caliente Cahuilla-shelter-fronds-Andreas Canyon-replica-SwittersB