Palm Springs Thousand Palms Oasis

Two years ago when I first visited Palm Springs I remember driving past Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve in the Coachella Valley and thinking to myself how scruffy the palm trees looked and why on earth didn’t they not groom them. I guess that is how my mind works as an Interior Designer. On this trip I took time to visit the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve and get to know the palm trees and their natural habitat. I have come away with a new appreciation for the natural beauty of the desert vegetation.   

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Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve   

The species of palm tree at Thousand Palms Preserve, know as Washingtonia filifera, has a very thick trunk and grows slowly to about 45 feet. Their life span is 150 to 200 years. The dead leaves hang vertically and form what is called a skirt around the trunk. This ‘skirt’ is a home and refuge for numerous birds, insects and lizards. Fruit stalks, extend beyond the leaves and bear masses of tiny white to cream colored flowers. During this time of year, large clusters of small hard fruit hang from the tree.

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This ‘skirt’ of the Washingtonia palms is a home and refuge for numerous birds, insects and lizards. 
One hundred and eighty animal species inhabit the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve.

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Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve is surrounded on either side by the Indio Hills.

A few weeks ago a sudden flash fire erupted (cause is not know) on the other side of the mountain from the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve. In a matter of minutes a whole grove of the Washingtonia filifera were up in flames. It caused quite a stir in the community with locals and environmentalists. In talking with the caretaker of the Thousand Palms Preserve I was told that as long as the very top of the palm tree was not totally burnt it has a chance to re new its growth from the top, however the skirt will not re grow and hence the home for local insects, birds and lizards is lost.

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A burnt out palm trunk from a fire in the 70’s at Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve has never grown new palm fronds.

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Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve is located on the San Andreas Fault
A natural spring feeds the area making the vegetation lush and green.

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Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve palm fronds
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The base of an uprooted palm tree at Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve. Palm trees they have very shallow roots. 
1000 Palms Oasis Coachella Valley Preserve

Patricia Gray Inc is an award winning Interior Design firm in Vancouver who blogs about Lifestyle and WHAT'S HOT in the world of Interior Design.
2011 © Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™


  1. Anonymous17/1/11

    Thank you for sharing your visit to one my favorite places in The Coachella Valley. I find that the preserve is a great place for inspiration and the natural beauty brings an entirely new appreciation for the desert.

  2. I love palm trees. Thanks for sharing.

    ps> From now on, follow me on www.mosaicology.blogspot. I have moved my blog's location. Thank you!

  3. I love the second photography - I see a third career in your future.

    Imagine that photography enlarged


  4. Now on my list of places to catch. Nice post, enjoyed the photos. Sometimes those places really touch you, re-ignite the senses. The pics express that you really "saw" it. Thanks,


  5. thank you for that interesting lesson on a plant we all love!

  6. I lived in Palm Springs for the last 9 years. Fires are a common experience with these trees because of spontaneous combustion. In a residential area keeping the skirt on the trees has many dangers, fire, massive home for rats, and massive damage when there are storms. The Palm Fronds are very heavy, so during a heavy wind storm (notice all the windmills there...lots of heavy wind) the fronds fly in the air and fall everywhere... I have seen them crush cars...their weight is unbelievable... and they are sharp and cutting. I will look for some of my photos of their wild distructive ways if you want.

  7. Monika18/1/11

    I realized, reading your blogs about your travel to the Palm Spring area > how much I miss these kind of climate and vegetation.

  8. Patricia,

    Great post. I learned in life about the trees I'm still learning about, and I learned in school the basic of the rules of three. In landscape design and pschology classes I learned great things about the basics that trees provide for us: Food, shelter and clothing. Amazing!


  9. The desert photographs are wonderful. Thank you for sharing!!!

  10. I love your shots...
    they look so good,
    makes me want to go out and buy myself a new camera.

  11. Great post Patricia and great photography. I've driven by the Preserve several times but have never stopped. We were talking yesterday how we wish we were in Palm Springs. We'd love to own a home there someday. Thank you, I enjoyed your post as always!

  12. Audrey22/1/11

    Hi Patricia
    The photos of the Desert are fabulous. When I was there with my mother many years ago I called some of them goon legs. Now I appreciate how interesting they are.

  13. love all the great pictures you took,
    I really like the black and whites.
    Lovely pace to visit

  14. Hello Patricia, I loved all photos and the orange, i loved your visit in my blog, thanks a lot !!! good night

  15. I'd like to do all the ten things you recommended.
    Love to smell that Carthusia scent and to sive into that natural hot mineral pools.
    Hugs from Brasil

  16. What an excellent quote. It is so true. You can have the most extravagant design but if it is not functionally or doesn't create the desired feel it is worthless.


Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™

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