Sir Richard Branson buys fake plastic palm trees for his Caribbean island By Gary Anderson 17/05/2009
Sir Richard Branson has been forced to buy fake plastic palm trees for his Caribbean island.
The Virgin boss, 59, was devastated after the beautiful natural palms lining the shores on luxurious Necker kept dying.
After trying unsuccessfully to replant the trees with the help of gardening experts, the billionaire eventually decided to buy a job-lot of plastic palms from a specialist website.
Friends said wealthy guests on the exclusive holiday island - which costs £24,000-a-night to hire - are convinced the fake trees are real.
One said: "It's impossible to tell them apart from the real palms."
Branson's spokeswoman said the plastic palm trees were for a sandbank off the coast of Necker. She said: "It would look funny without them." The legendary deal-maker bought the island for £120,000 in 1976 but it is now valued at £60million..