Remove Your Picudo Rojo Infested Palm Tree or Face Being Fined up to 2,500Euros!

Pollenca Town Hall has decided to take the drastic action of removing  both healthy and trees infested with the Piucudo Rojo (Red Palm Weevil).  It is in the process of creating an inventory of all affected trees, both on public and private land.  If you own an infested tree then you may be served with notice to have the tree removed within 10 days or face a fine of up to 2,500 Euros and denouncement to the Environment Ministry.

Official notification has been posted on the the Ajuntament de Pollenca website.  It has also been reported in the  Talk of the North 1 -14 December Issue (page 3).

So why not get your infested palm tree chopped down today, contact Mark on 678 387 145 or email for free advice or a quote for tree removal.

Background to the Red Palm Weevil

The Red Palm Weevil or curculionido ferruginoso (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Olivier) is a weevil originating from the tropical regions of Asia and Polynesia that has been continuously spreading throughout other subtropical and temperate regions and colonising different species of palm trees. It is one of the main infestations affecting the palms of the Far East, the Middle East and North Africa. It was introduced into Spain at the time of grand scale importation of Phoenix dactylifera from Egypt. First detected in 1995 in Almuñecar (Granada), the disease has since spread all along the coastal fringe of the Mediterranean and through the Canary Islands, where it is devastating great numbers of palms.
In Mallorca it primarily attacks the Canary Palm (Phoenix canariensis) followed by the Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera).

Red Palm Weevil Biology and Life Cycle

Insects of this family are characterised by a beak shaped prolongation of the head, by distinctly elbowed antennae, and by their very characteristic reddish colourisation (ferruginoso).  The adults can fly long distances and climb well, they are easily able to climb from the ground to the crown of palm trees.

The female lays her eggs both in the insulated cavities of purposely made wounds at the base of the leaves and in the soft tissue inside leaf buds at the top of the trunk near the start of the leaves (the crown of the palm); it is therefore difficult to spot them. 

The larva grows inside the humid soft fibres of the palm, on which it also feeds. It is between 3 and 5 cm long, legless and of squat aspect. Its head is a ruddy brown colour. These larvae can excavate cavities of more than a metre in length.  The Pupa is found at the base of the palms, both inside and outside the trunk, protected by an oval cocoon of 4-6 cm made of brown dried palm fibres.

In the Spanish Mediterranean region the complete life cycle from egg to adult takes between three and four months which means up to four generations a year.

The adults colonise the palms as they fly between them. They prefer diseased trees that have pruning wounds or are weak from recent transplantation.