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Public urged to report trees at risk of toppling

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In San Sebastian, a tree at Calle 77 and 70 falls after heavy rain. File photo

Mérida, Yucatán — It wasn’t just buildings that collapsed in the recent deluge. Many trees also toppled, which isn’t surprising considering how many of them were already in grave condition.

Under certain circumstances, the city will intervene to remove trees that are at risk of falling, said Sayda Melina Rodríguez Gómez, director of the Sustainable Development Unit of the City Council. Regulations establish the conditions under which authorities can take on the job of tree removal in the city.

Only when the tree represents a serious danger to humans or property will the city be authorized to remove the tree at no charge. Otherwise, it’s a private matter and the responsibility of the property owner.

“There are many trees in the city that because of their age or being sick, may be at risk of falling, whether it’s just branches or the whole tree,” said the official.

She stressed that there is no way in which the municipality can track the more than two million trees in the city, so citizen participation is very important.

“We ask the population to be aware of risky trees and report them to the municipal hotline Ayuntatel, at 999-924-4000. Then, an official will decide whether to remove the tree, prune it, or leave it alone.

Sometimes, surgical intervention is the best approach. A tree hit by lightning, for example, might benefit from the removal of diseased branches, she said.

With information from Diario de Yucatán

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