MORE than 15,000 pine trees in the Sierra de Redovan are to be reduced to small woodchips over the next month.
The trees have all succumbed to the plague of the Tomicus destruens pine beetle and are being razed to the ground and crushed by a machine capable of destroying 500 trees a day. By removing the trees affected by the bug, it is planned to create topsoil and prepare the ground for future reforestation. Destroying trees that are dry and dead will also help reduce the risk of fire and slow the spread of the insect.
Councillor for the Environment Ramon Lopez said this is a pioneering project using a specialist machine that is able to climb the rock face. The operation will last about a month and cost €69,000, of which €33,000 will be paid with from a grant. Lopez said the 40 hectares of pine forest extending from the Sierra have been divided into four zones of action, although this machine can only operate in two of them. Teams of workers will carry out the task in