The plague that killed the pines of Rome

Majestic Mediterranean pines (Pine nuts) Rome’s famous for cinema and music, the icon of the Eternal City is dying. It is becoming more evident every day in the streets and parks of the Italian city. Their long green tops turn black and hundreds have already fallen. Executioner: a small insect reddish-brown from America, which poisons them. Thus, a point was reached where any rodeo could be the last.

Agronomist Sara Sacerdote is direct. “The entire region of Romas is infected. This is a very serious situation,” he says. The news is that the case is not new, it just got worse. ‘Toumella parvicornis’, also called tortoise cochineal, originates in Italy about seven years ago. He then destroyed the pines of the area. Naples, Campania, possibly after disembarking from the Caribbean. Priest explains that he settled there after emigrating from the cold landscapes of Canada.

Since that time a war without many victories to stop the epidemic. It is favored by the good Mediterranean climate and no local enemies with natural predators in Italy, tortoise mealybug expanding north along the coast of Italy, until it reaches Rome. And here from 2018 it first appeared in the southern neighborhoods of the Italian capital.

A fight without victory (yet)

The Pope knows very well. He himself joins the war. Already supplied dozens of trees single palliative which has been found so far. about endotherapyIt is a technique that consists of making small holes (about 30 centimeters apart) in the body. inject an insecticide, abamectin, into the treeWith the help of an alcoholic substance, it reaches the parasite through the sap and destroys it. “The problem is that while we wait to find a real antidote, it’s only a temporary solution aimed at prolonging the life of trees. This is because the effect of abamectin wears off after about three months, and then the parasite returns,” explains Sacerdote, adding that this technique may not work as well if the plant is badly damaged.

In addition, endotherapy is expensive (according to experts, it costs at least 50 euros per tree) and slow because it takes several minutes to deliver the mixture to each plant. For this reason, they run other experiments although there are not many results at the moment. Some universities are researching the use of ladybugs to attack mealybugs, and it’s even thought to be considered. in insect import natural predators of Toumella parvicornis in their place of origin But the solution has not yet been found.

situation A real fight against time in RomeSacerdote says the ‘pinus pinea’ has been a part of the capital’s landscape since the time of the Etruscan civilization (9th-1st century BC), and it has been planted extensively throughout the city since the 19th century. Later in the 1940s, fascist leader Benito Mussolini re-proliferated the plantations while elevating this tree to the emblem of Italy. so much so that Mussolini even changed his nameinstead of the Latin name Pine nuts with italic pine.

roman symbol

However, before that these trees had gained a certain reputation. For example, in 1924, inspired the famous symphonic poem Roman Pines, by Italian composer Ottorino Respinghi, showing the presence of these trees in different parts of the city during the day. Later, they also acted in some famous movies. Rome Federico Fellini and more recently, Great Beauty Paolo Sorrentino’s photo.

Roman agricultural engineer Franco Milito is another fan of Roman pines. He has been reading them for years. “It is the symbol tree of Rome. His disappearance would have been terrifying for the view of the city. All the streets would be bare“, Explain. But the fact is that the turtle mealybug is particularly aggressive in Italy, where it reproduces more and faster than in Canada. Milito worriedly implanted certain fungi that penetrate the branches and trunk and form a black soot that inhibits photosynthesis. He’s accumulating a sugary white food.

The world we live in is getting more and more dramatic. The arguments seem exhausted and also the planet continues to rebel. Antonello Venditti, one of the most popular singer-songwriters in the neighborhoods of Rome, sang, “Like the pines of Rome, life does not break us…”. Maybe it’s not like that anymore.

Source: Informacion


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