Palma.—Over the past few years, hundreds of palm trees have fallen victim to the deadly red palm weevil for which there does not appear to be a cure.
Yesterday, tree surgeons were called in to cut down scores of infected trees in the Port of Pollensa, leaving nothing but the base of the tree in their wake as the infected trees were carted off to be treated in the hope that the weevil, which can live in dead tress for years, will be killed.

A large number of Bulletin readers have lost their palm trees to the weevil and only this weekend, resident Bulletin gardening expert Dorothy Loeffler, was again asked about the plague affecting the trees.

But, sadly, there is little that can be done to combat the weevil.
Originally from Asia, the plague first appeared in Europe in 1994, in Spain , in Almuñecar.

It then spread to Murcia and Valencia and is thought to have come to Spain through infected palm trees from Egypt or other North African countries. In 2005 , the plague was detected in Elche, considered to have the largest palm grove in Europe and this year, it was detected in the Canary Islands and Jerez de la Frontera, where it affected more than 200 palm trees while the war against the weevil continues here in Majorca. The use of parasites to kill the red palm weevil have proved successful on the mainland but experts are still working on finding a more foolproof way of killing the weevil and stopping the plague from spreading further.


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