Royal Palm: “Ang paboritong palmera/palaspas ng mga LGUs sa beautification ng mga kalsada sa Pilipinas."

Royal palm (Genus Roystonea), a.k.a. “Ang paboritong palmera/palaspas ng mga LGUs sa beautification ng mga kalsada sa Pilipinas.” (The most favourite palm among local governments in the Philippines in terms of roadside beautification projects). Do take note that this preference of the tree as a road side decoration that has been attributed to tropical urban and rurbanscapes may have has roots from American colonial policy and imperial history.
The royal palm’s genus name Roystonea was named after Roy Stone, a US Army Brigadier General. Stone was an advocate of the Good Roads Movement and became one of the heads of the Division of the Public Roads from 1883-1899. He served as a Union Army Officer during the American Civil War and as Brigadier General of the US Army in the Puerto Rico campaign during the Spanish-American War.
Orator Fuller Cook (1901, pp.549-569) named the genus (formerly of Oreodoxa) in his work “A Synopsis of Palms in Puerto Rico” to Stone after his road building efforts in the Carribean island during the Spanish-American War. Cook also mentioned that the palms were ornaments in Puertorriqueño landscape, something that Stone was interested.

Though I may need some further research and reading, I think the massive road side tree planting and decoration in the Philippines may have been attributed to American colonial policy of road building, especially the acacia trees that line up the roads.
In the Philippines, these can be seen in some university campuses like the ones in UP Diliman’s University Avenue, UPLB’s Harold Cuzner Royal Palm Avenue (as shown in the photo), in Central Philippine University in Jaro, Iloilo City, among others. And the moniker, ”ang paboritong palmera ng mga LGUs sa Pilipinas pagdating sa road beautification” to which I call, may have stemmed with the preference of planting royal palm in some of the major thoroughfares undergoing beautification such as those at the center islands of Manila’s Roxas Boulevard, Iloilo City’s Diversion Road, and Tagum City in Davao’s Royal Palm Highway.”
Brigadier General Roy Stone of US Army (Posted on Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.
The decorative effect of royal palms may invoke “tropicalness” of the place. For some, reminds them of Beverly Hills (though the palm species there I think is different). Though beautiful, I think they are not good shade trees for pedestrian sidewalks since it does not cover much space unless clustered.
Reference cited:
Cook, O.F. (1901). “A Synopsis of the Palms of Puerto Rico,” from the Bulletin of Torrey Botanical Club. New York. <>