Experienced palm-loppers needed for 8,000 trees in Elche streets

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Experienced palm-loppers needed for 8,000 trees in Elche streets
TRADITIONAL METHOD: Palmeros need skill and a head for heights Photo credit: Linda Hall

ELCHE city hall is having little luck in engaging professional Palmeros to lop local palms using traditional methods.

After advertising four posts on a 12-month contract with Labora, the region’s official employment office, only two applicants were engaged as Palmeros although another two will be employed in city hall’s Parks and Gardens department, Human Resources councillor Ramon Abad announced.

Although his department received 16 CVs, only two candidates were sufficiently skilled at climbing palm trees to lop branches using the traditional – and rudimentary – marcola.

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This occupation recently received Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC) status under a new law and has also been taught for some years at local high schools including La Torreta.

But at present, local government sources revealed, the only option is outsourcing some pruning operations although this alternative can be risky, as a private company from Murcia contracted to lop the 8,000 palms last year used chainsaws.  Operatives also damaged several trees in Calle Pedro Juan Perpiñan.

Unions, palmeros and groups including the Volem Palmerar, the Palm Forest defence group, and Elche city hall itself agreed that outsourcing was not the answer. Instead, the government decided to reinforce the workforce although this has proved more difficult than anticipated.


Linda came to Spain to live when she was 24, just over 52 years ago, and her husband is Spanish. She began writing for English-language local newspapers in the mid-1970s and hasn’t stopped since! She leads a Spanish life, which she believes is vital when conveying the news to English-speaking residents, and along the way she produced two editions of Expand Your Spanish, helping English-speakers to enlarge their knowledge of the language. She was excited to be in at the birth of the Euro Weekly News in 1999 and is still passionately writing for the paper 22 years later.

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