Royal Zoological Gardens, Melbourne
The client's brief was to select and supply several appropriate advanced trees for the refurbishment of their giraffe enclosure.
In consultation with the client, we selected Livistona decipiens as the species, and sourced six mature specimens, selected both for their height and developed crowns.
Livistona decipiens is a native palm, endemic to coastal Queensland, which might seem an odd choice for an African animal's enclosure in a Melbourne zoo. However, Livistona decipiens is both drought and cold tolerant, and these specimens were largely selected for their extremely tall (~10m) trunks, meaning that the giraffes couldn't eat the foliage.
Livistona decipiens has an ornamental form, with a slender trunk, tipped with an elegant symmetrical crown. The fronds are semi-pinnate, and fill out and broaden as the tree matures. The slender trunk, with its attractive crown, is almost reminiscent of the giraffe's own natural form.