Mérida, Yucatán — Of the city’s 2 million-plus trees, 63 percent of them are in poor condition.
That’s the statistic that fuels the city’s reforestation crusade, promoting 55 species that are suitable to local conditions.
Trees suffer for a number of reasons: They might be inadequately pruned, or perhaps they were planted where conditions aren’t optimal. This could explain the collapse of so many trees that began with the seasonal rains, suggests a story in Milenio.
Fallen trees, mainly flamboyanes and almendros, were poorly planned, planted in street medians and other tight spots where their roots cannot grow strong. They then grow top-heavy and susceptible to winds and precipitation. To counter this, the Department of Civil Protection is trying to salvage existing trees through pruning.
And to head off future bad plantings, the city is promoting 55 approved species for public spaces, only 18 of which can be planted along streets.
The regulation encourages native species such as the balché or the jabín.
Mérida has been derided for an over-abundance of concrete, but an official count shows 2.6 trees per person.