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Thursday, January 26, 2023

The great tree that gave Xcumpich its name has been cut down

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Veronica Garibay
Veronica Garibayhttp://yucatanmagazine.com
Verónica Garibay Saldaña is a Mexican columnist, communications major, and poetry enthusiast. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.

The large pich tree at the Xcumpich roundabout was cut down in the early hours of Tuesday morning. 

The tree was considered by many to be the natural cornerstone of the Xcumpich community. Photo: Verónica Garibay

Neighbors found the tree in pieces in the traffic when they woke up, without any previous notification of removal or an authorization shown by authorities. 

The new look of the roundabout, and the fallen pich tree. Photo: Verónica Garibay

Allegedly, the tree had been leaning over time, and with the strong winds blown by Grace, overcame its weight and lifted itself up from its roots. Many more large trees fell throughout the city with the storms passing.

The fallen pich tree was cut down without any previous notice. Photo: Verónica Garibay

The guardhouse of the residential Xcumpich says he heard a loud thump, between midnight and 1 a.m. Apparently, neighbors close to the roundabout came out when they heard the fall, and together called the firemen. The fire department had no comments.

Confused neighbors have questioned the decision of cutting the tree in pieces instead of placing it back.

A piece of the tree’s trunk, still holding a live beehive. Photo: Verónica Garibay

On a group chat, a neighbor claims that “specialists had come to evaluate the state of the tree but its roots had been torn out,” yet this statement has not been confirmed.

Residents of the private property, as well as neighbors from different parts of the community, have come to see the fallen tree. 

Detail of the bark, showing the age of the tree. Photo: Verónica Garibay

A group of neighbors is requesting a report from Pronatura, and a citizen complaint is also being organized to find out if the cutting was justified or not.

Old sight of the massive pich tree. Photo: Verónica Garibay

The Xcumpich neighborhood itself obtained its name through this large pich tree, which sat at its entrance. The tree was estimated to be over 100 years old, perhaps closer to 200.

Xcumpich back in May, with the tree that gave it its name still standing. Photo: Verónica Garibay

In Mérida, sanctions are in force against anyone who arbitrarily cuts or prunes trees on public roads. Fines can exceed 600,000 pesos, with jail time from six months to two years. The person charged is also forced to replace the tree with a similar replacement.

In Yucatán Magazine: Into the city of Mérida: Xcumpich and its haciendas

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