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The City Council will make an in-depth diagnosis of the ficus of Santo Domingo to determine the measures necessary for its conservation (19/06/2017)

In the next few days a phytosanitary treatment will be carried out, the wounds will be cleaned and the cuts will be checked by the use of tree surgery.

Existing reports indicate that the high temperatures caused a contraction of the tree tissues and a high dilatation in a very short time, generating a mechanical instability in the fibers and causing the branch or tree to collapse through the weakest points.

The municipal services of Parks and Gardens, technicians of the concessionaire company and external experts whose intervention is considered necessary will immediately begin a diagnosis of the situation presented by the ficus of Santo Domingo, which last Friday were released more than twelve tons Of branches.

It is a question of analyzing each one of the main trunks, since some present damages that can be very serious.

In the next few days, a phytosanitary treatment will be carried out, the wounds will be cleaned and the cuts will be checked by the use of tree surgery.

This was explained today by the Councilor for Modernization of Administration, Urban Quality and Participation, José Guillén, accompanied by the Chief of Environment Service, Francisco Carpe, and Israel Ayala, attached to the head of service of STV, the concession company of the Maintenance of parks and gardens,

While the in-depth analysis is concluded, its evolution will be observed and the measures deemed adequate to avoid risks will be maintained, which is the priority objective.

Despite being a living being, whose evolution, therefore, can not be predicted accurately, the technicians point out that this same summer may begin to arise new outbreaks.

Once the emergency action that was essential and necessary to guarantee the safety of the citizens was carried out this weekend, the analyzes are now continuing to obtain a definitive diagnosis and to determine the measures to be adopted aimed at the conservation of the centennial.

The emergency intervention carried out, aimed at avoiding the risk of further falls, was supported by the reports of the Chief of Environment Service and the Head of Brigades of Gardens, as well as the concession company of the service, STV.

He was forced to act to try to alleviate the serious problems that presents the tree, whose accident has left in sight old wounds and decay.

In addition to corroborating that the fall of the branches produced last Friday was an accident, and as such, was unpredictable and impossible to detect, reports agree on the role played by the elastic cabling system that was installed in the ficus does a couple Of years, and that allowed to slow and to retain the detachment, giving a margin of about 40 seconds that were vital to avoid what could have been a tragedy, thanks also to the quick action of the Local Police and of a neighbor of Murcia that gave The alarm voice.

After the emergency intervention, the work is not over.

It is necessary to make a rigorous study of the state that presents the three arms that maintains the ficus centennial that, despite reaching the 30 meters of height, has its greater weakness in having a brittle wood that can be the cause of the fracture of the great Branches.

"Like every living being, it can suffer stress, in this case produced by the episodes of high temperatures that have occurred in recent days, increased by the type of pavement in the square and the thermal reverberations produced by the facades of the buildings, which convert The environment of the tree in a small oven, "details the report of municipal technicians.

The detachment of branches was a fortuitous and unpredictable event and the reports conclude.

Experience in Murcia and other cities indicates that this happens in times of extreme temperatures and sudden changes of temperature, which causes dehydration during the day.

This causes the tissues to contract and dilate a lot in a very short time, generating a mechanical instability in the fibers and causing the branch or tree to collapse through the weakest points of the same.

In the case of the Santo Domingo specimen, the fall occurred in the part that is in a southerly direction, where more insolation and dehydration occurs.

This phenomenon does not present any type of symptomatology or external appearance.

The main branch that is detached presents / displays abundant wrapping wood (it involves wounds or old cuts) that prevent to know if there is a rot or internal wound.

In addition to not perceiving external signs of dehydration, the tree has been receiving long and deep waterings in the weeks prior to this effect.

The City Council carries out a continuous monitoring of all the green areas of the municipality, and especially of the unique trees that, due to their historical or natural value, are subject to specific inspections.

Specifically, since the year 2016, 10 inspections of the ficus of Santo Domingo have been carried out, consisting of review by specialized climber arborists, elimination of dry branches, discharge of tree weight to reduce the risk of branch breakage and revision of the protection systems of The branches through elastic anchors.

In the last year and a half more than five tons have been discharged from the tree.

On the other hand, the Parks and Gardens Service has already begun to work on the recovery and multiplication of cuttings of the centenary tree, which will now be kept in the nursery until they rooted.

Source: Ayuntamiento de Murcia

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