Ibla like Miami: the palm of discord. Protests from residents, inspection by administrators. Maybe we go back

The new palm trees that are being planted along the central avenue of the Iblei Gardens in Ragusa Ibla are being discussed. The company entrusted with the service has been operating for a few days and is replacing the dead palms, killed by the red weevil, with new palms. The problem is that we are not putting the same typology of the previous palms, whose scientific name is Phoenix canariensis, but the Whashington Robusta palms more similar to those that for example adorn the Miami waterfront, or closer, those on the beach at Marina of Ragusa, whose scientific name is Washingtonia filifera

Protests from numerous residents of the neighborhood who believe that in this way the image of the old and more “traditional” tree-lined avenue of the Iblei Gardens is distorted. Some have already contacted our editorial staff last night. Among them the young resident Giovanni Sortino: “It seems that the death of the previous palms was also due to the lack of chemical and biological treatment against the red weevil, which happens in other cities although there are regional directives. Why haven’t other solutions been thought of anyway? And above all to a sharing? Also involving citizens in the choice, as for example the Municipality of Modica did, or inserting, to stay in Modica, the Dactyliferous palms, more resistant than the Whashington not exempt from the attack of the awl. Yet the Municipality of Ragusa had announced in recent months the replacement of dead palms with Dactyliferous ones ”.

The town councilor Giovanni Gurrieri also dealt with the matter this morning, who carried out an inspection, discussed with the technicians and also heard the representatives of the municipal administration: “Certainly there is a clear discrepancy between the old and new palms that they are going to insert, with a typology that is not typical of our landscape and that perhaps better adapts, visually, to larger spaces along the coastal strip. I’m trying to find out more and the municipal technicians have explained to me that they have been a bit lead you towards this choice for a series of regional directives and in addition to having requested the opinions of agronomist technicians. I therefore decided to report the matter to the representatives of the municipal administration both by acting as spokesperson for the protests of a large group of residents, and to ask for a more precise verification of other possible solutions as well as making the visual impact more homogeneous for those arriving at gardens of Ibla. From the Municipality and other bodies in charge, I had the promise of a scrupulous verification of the matter. In recent months I had already drawn attention to this topic, just last September, when the eleven palm trees of the central avenue were pulled down and I had asked to know the methods of subsequent intervention ”.

And in fact shortly after the mayor Cassì and the councilor for greenery, Iacono, accompanied by the councilor Cilia, carried out an inspection. Representatives of the municipal administration explain that the choice was due to insert these new palms. “After having tried the different treatments provided and allowed by the legislation on the subject, and having had to remove only the Phoenix canariensis palms already dry and unsafe – explains the mayor Cassì – as announced in recent months, the trunks cut off by different years with other Whashington Robusta palm trees. The restoration interventions of the arboreal essences follow the inspections carried out in recent months with the agronomists and the palmiferous species in replacement is among the few resistant to the parasite and has, obviously, although belonging to the palmifers, a different aspect from the Phoenix canariensis, which still remain. in the avenue, and some citizens have already expressed their opposition to the intervention ”.

It was a unique choice but there could still be the possibility of changing again, says the mayor regarding the need to insert the Whashington palms that are creating protests: “Every decision inevitably has pros and cons, and the choice to plant the new palms arises from a clear assessment. Replanting Phoenix canariensis, in fact, would have had consequences both in the short and long term. In the imminence, waiting for the years necessary for growth, the new palms would have a very different height from the current ones; in the long term, the real risk is that the new plants would be attacked by the infesting insect already present unfortunately also in the remaining palm trees and still subject to treatments. The danger is that the new Phoenix canariensis wouldn’t even have had time to grow. In any case, whether by planting new species alongside the pre-existing specimens, or by planting palms of the same species but of clearly different height, the driveway to the Gardens will not be able to have the same appearance as it once was. We reserve the right to evaluate the final aesthetic impact, absolutely relevant in such a significant place, to decide whether to maintain the mixture between Washington robusta and Phoenix canariensis. Should it be decided to replace it, the newly planted Washington trees would be relocated to other areas of the city, as part of the reforestation and treeing plan that this Administration is carrying out ”.

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