Attacked by fungi and parasites, the largest tree in Europe is likely to die
Novemebr 25, 2010
by LAURA RING, PALERMO
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Click on image to see its original size
The ficus magnolioides dominates Piazza Marina, Palermo: 25 meters in height, trunk diameter of 19 and 11,000 cubic meters of leaves.
.Here we would like Tarzan. He 'will be oriented in quest'intreccio areas of logs and roots, in the tangle of branches, in the crevices of a cathedral green that evokes the tropical forest.But in the absence of man-apes at the bedside of the Ficus magnolioides Villa Garibaldi in Palermo - the tree with the crown of Europe's largest - have flocked to the major specialists of the Italian Society of Arboriculture, the section of the national non-profit organization founded United States. An army of botanists, agronomists, plant pathologists. And tree climbers, climbers who can reach the most remote branches. And yet, experts in devices such as sensors, "incubators" of roots, and even a laser scanner that will reproduce every detail of the giant and turn into a three-dimensional design.
"An intervention ever done, absolutely groundbreaking," according to the scientist in charge of the operation, Joseph Barbera, director of the Crop husbandry at the University of Palermo. An "event", to quote the president of the Society of Arboriculture, Francesco Ferrini, which adopted the tree sponsoring the entire operation and thus overcoming the difficulties of the Municipality of Palermo with the empty boxes. The ficus, in fact, was attacked by mold and has suffered the onslaught of pests. Nothing that jeopardizes his life, but the danger is that falling off branches, stuff that weighs tons.