Elche lays-off a third of its gardening workforce

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Elche lost nearly a third of the staff that cares for the palm weevil in crisis.

THE workforce dedicated to maintaining Elche Palm tree gardens has been reduced from 150 employees to about 110, losing around 40 employees, raising concerns in the municipality due to the palm weevil infestation that threatens much of Elche’s palm tree heritage and which has affected over 50,000 trees since 2013.

The Councilor for the Environment has acknowledged the concerns stating; “until we make the investment in personnel we can not effectively fight the onset of the weevil.”

Currently, Elche’s palm grove consists of 1.5 million palm trees and in the first half of this year the City and was forced to cut 335 trees within the perimeter protected as a World Heritage Site with another 66 trees removed from public roads. The objective of the city council is to develop an economical and effective program to reduce the cost of the treatment process and improve detection methods.

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