Meeting – Palm Tree Weevil

Here are some brief notes from the Cámara representative at the recent meeting organised by Amovate:

So far the Palm Weevil is only affecting the most common palm tree, but it s expected that in time it could affect other types.  It has a capability of flying up to 15 K, and is most active during the warm months.  It originated from Africa, and therefore thrives in warm climates.  It is more dormant in the cooler months (Nov, Dec Jan) and it is therefore advisable to trim the lower fronds during these cooler months to prevent the weevils from being attracted to the scent of the sap.

A tree clearly infected

All new growth on a palm tree comes from the centre crown/ heart, resulting in fresh upright fronds at the top of the tree.  The first signs that a tree is infected are when these upright fronds appear damaged, start turning brown, or come away from the tree.  The palm weevil infests the crown part of the tree, burrowing and laying eggs in this part where the new growth starts.

INFECTED TREE

Once a tree shows any signs of being affected, there is NO point in treating it.  It will not recover.

An infected tree should be treated at the crown/heart (see below) to prevent the spread of this weevil to other trees.

Arrangements should be made to have the tree cut as close to the ground as possible, and removed from the area.  Do not leave part of the tree behind, as it will still encourage infection.

They should be transported to Rogil industrial estate where green waste is treated by Algar.  They have facilities there to shred infected palm trees.  No attempt to burn the affected trees should be made, as they are very difficult to burn and NO accelerants should be used to assist in this. The Bombeiros have trialled burning these trees and it is impossible,  without using other timber to assist in getting the trunk hot enough to burn. Also remembering the damage fire can do if uncontrolled by experts.

There is a cost of around €30 per tonne for the handling of the waste,   Amovate are aware of the difficulty this will cause and will be in discussion with the Cámara to try to find a more cost effective way of dealing with this.

HEALTHY TREE

These should be treated 3 times per year – Spring, Summer & Autumn.

Appropriate insecticide (to be advised) is available locally e.g. Fortazur in Aljezur.  They will advise on amounts to use etc.

This insecticide should be sprayed directly into the crown of the tree.

Further information will be found on this site as soon as the Cámara forward the literature on Prevention and other treatments

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