Palm Tree Beyond The Pale

An 82 feet palm tree with an imperial pedigree is due to be culled in Vienna.

The so-called 'Sisi Palm', named after Empress Elisabeth - a tragic figure often likened to Britain's Princess Diana - has been growing for 170 years.

The problem is, the palm has been growing just a tad too much. The towering tree takes centre stage in the vast greenhouse at Vienna's Schonbrunn Palace. However, although this particular greenhouse is the biggest in the world, it's not big enough for the palm.

The tree is held in great affection by the Viennese, but authorities are resolved that if it is not chopped soon, it will burst through the roof of the listed building.

The palm has survived two world wars and the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Empress 'Sisi', the ill-starred wife of Franz Joseph, was especially fond of the tree, and often sat beneath it when she was hankering for her beloved Mediterranean.


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