Tuesday, December 6, 2022

The Ticino palm is a fire hazard!

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It belongs to the sun room like Merlot and Rustici: the Ticino palm. Every hillside villa, like here in Brione s. Minusio, has at least one palm tree in the garden.

Myrtle Mueller

She is the star of the sun room. It sticks out of every garden, in many selfies, and is the eye-catcher on every postcard: the Ticino palm. Even with the record drought, Trachycarpus fortunei keeps its composure. According to a representative survey from 2021, 80 percent of Ticino people love their “Palma ticinese”. Nowhere in the world are there so many of these species in one place as in the southern canton. But the beautiful hemp palm tree, which originally came from China, also has its downsides – not just against the light of the glowing sun.

Guido Maspoli (55) wipes the low leaf fans aside. The biologist from the cantonal office for nature and landscape protection is walking the beaten path through the new jungle of Tegna TI. The alluvial forest on the banks of the Maggia used to consist of lime trees, alders, ash trees and hornbeams. “Now palm trees are crowding out the deciduous trees,” says Maspoli, pointing to the dense palm grove that lines the sandy path like a meter-high wall.

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