Saturday, August 27, 2011

The red weevil continues to spread

The Council for the Environment have found evidence of the red palm weevil in the old part of the town and the El Palmeral district of Orihuela. They are asking the public to let them know of any infected trees within a five kilometre radius so that they can either be treated or cut down and burnt to stop the weevil from spreading. Of course it is not easy to spray into the heart of a tree which is over 10 metres tall.

There is already evidence that trees in the El Escorratel area are infected.That is dangerously close to the the San Antón district at the foot of the mountain where there are about seven thousand Phoenix dactylifera palm trees. These were first brought to the province centuries ago by the Muslims and were used to provide shade for other crops. Some of the trees are 300 years old and are irrigated by the original infrastructure developed by the Muslims.

It would be an economic and environmental disaster if those palms were infected by the weevil which, in spite of intensive spraying, shows no sings of being eradicated.

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