Human Interest

Mexico City authorities remove iconic palm tree from main avenue

Mexico City, Apr 25 (EFE).- Mexico City authorities worked for several hours on Monday to remove the iconic palm tree that for almost 100 years has stood on the Paseo de la Reforma, one of the most heavily traveled avenues in the Mexican capital.

“Despite the fact that specialists were intervening, it could not be saved and that’s it, the palm tree is dead, it can’t remain in this spot because it could pose a risk to the public,” said Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum in a statement.

The work to remove the palm tree that had given the name to the Glorieta de la Palma traffic roundabout began on Sunday night and was finished up about 3 am on Monday.

The dead tree will be taken to the Nezahualcoyotl Nursery, where it will be treated and later will be used by young artists for an exhibition.

“People in the know are being asked (about) proposals for species, some native to Mexico and others not, so a decision can be made what is the best tree to put at this site,” Sheinbaum said.

The mayor said that the huge palm was suffering from various diseases since it is not a native species to the Valley of Mexico, but also because of the city’s altitude and the pollution that has prevailed there in recent years.

The intervention and monitoring of this and 12,301 other palm trees is part of the Mexico City government’s comprehensive 60 million peso ($3 million) management program for all sorts of trees in the urban zone.

Starting on April 25, an online public consultation will be launched to decide what tree will replace the historic palm on the Paseo de la Reforma.

On Sunday, capital residents bade farewell to the iconic palm tree that for about a century has stood on the Glorieta de la Palma, the Mexico City Environment Secretariat (Sedema) said in a bulletin.

“It’s been the friendly palm that heard all the stories … the demonstrations amid the struggles that this city has (seen), that experienced the festivals,” the capital’s environment secretary, Marina Robles Garcia, said.

At the ceremony, about 100 people said their goodbyes to the palm that “for almost a century put down its roots in Mexican soil.”

It stood in Mexico City “despite the fact that it was originally from the Canary Islands and its name reveals that – Phoenix canariensis. This is the tallest and most well-known palm on the Paseo de la Reforma,” said Sedema.

The palm had always stood in the roundabout bearing its name, the only such traffic structure along the Paseo de la Reforma with a living thing as its central element or monument.

EFE mqb/ppc/cpy/bp

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