DESTRUCTIVE FOREIGN TREES: IMPACT OF CYCLONES IN SOLIDARIDAD

In the aftermath of Cyclone Beryl, it was evident that the majority of trees uprooted by the storm in the city of Solidaridad were almond, ficus, and nim trees. These foreign species are often chosen by developers due to their low cost and rapid growth, which allows new subdivisions to quickly appear lush and green. However, these trees are ill-suited to the local climate and can cause significant damage to property and public infrastructure.

The root systems of these trees struggle to penetrate the region’s hard soil, instead spreading out across the surface. This often results in the roots breaking or entangling cables and pipes. Their shallow roots also make these trees particularly vulnerable to storms and hurricanes, causing them to topple and damage infrastructure, lift asphalt, and potentially fall onto cars or fences.

Juan Carlos Segura Espadas, former Secretary of Public Services of the Solidaridad City Council, confirmed the issues caused by these foreign trees in the region. He emphasized the need for regulations on tree planting and the promotion of native species such as ceiba, poplar, oak, zapote or ciricote, which are more resilient in the face of hurricanes.

Espadas also proposed a medium-term program to replace the existing foreign trees with native species and fruit trees. This would not only reduce the risk of damage during storms but also help to preserve the local ecosystem.