Orlando International Airport is often the first and the last thing visitors to Central Florida experience. The new Terminal C continues commitment to this experience with dramatic representations of our region’s familiar flora.

The installation of Forever Trees has begun in key passenger gathering areas with 12, 35-foot tall Washingtonian Palms located in the Airside hub’s Palm Court. “We felt this was a great opportunity to create a sense of place for the arrival of visitors from around the world,” said HNTB Senior Program Director Bill Brooks.

“The landscaping offers glimpses of the lush, colorful landscapes that they associate with Florida.” Designed and produced by Treescapes, the 42 total Forever Trees include a mix of Royal Palms, Sabal Palms, Date Palms, Washingtonian Palms, and Bald Cypress.

According to HNTB, the Terminal C Architect of Record, the artificial trees are actually constructed from live palms and live cypress. The barks are all sustainably created using preserved materials. Ranging in height from 18 to 50 feet, the trees reflect one of the three foundational design elements of light, water, and garden that contribute to The Orlando Experience®.

The final design of the Forever Tree program was driven by four main considerations: making sure the plants were representative of the Florida landscape; conformity to LEED v4 standards of low maintenance, hardiness, and sustainability; ease of expansion to accommodate growth; and budget. “We’re very pleased with what we’re seeing,” said J.C. Arteaga, Senior Program Director-Architecture.

“We got what we wanted to give that natural Orlando springs type of feature.” Currently, Terminal C is 87 percent complete, with construction on schedule for substantial completion in 2022. When operational, the new terminal’s 15 gates will accommodate up to 20 aircraft and support an additional capacity of 10-12 million annual passengers.