PALM tree pruning has started on the Orihuela Costa after residents said that not enough maintenance for two years has allowed the deadly Red Palm Weevil to spread.
Just one tree infected by the weevil can cause a swathe of palm tree losses in the surrounding area.
The Cabo Roig and Lomas residents association(AVCRL) has complained to Orihuela council, with workers appearing last week at Monte Zenia close to the Zenia Boulevard Shopping Centre.
One resident described the palm groves on the Orihuela Costa as being in a ‘calamitous state’.
The AVCRL says the lack of pruning and maintenance of 7,000 palm trees has caused the weevil infestation which is spreading to private plots and gardens.
The group says that a council-appointed contractor to deal with green spaces has few staff and multiple problems in providing an adequate service.
The AVCRL has written to Orihuela’s coastal councillor, Manuel Mestre and said that ‘streets are full of fruit, due to lack of pruning, which makes pavements impassable and forces people to walk on the road’.
It also refers to ‘completely abandoned green areas’.
A new green maintenance contract worth €10 million is set to be awarded to the municipal company Ildo that will cover 2.5 million square metres of the whole Orihuela municipality.