Another emblematic tree at risk: The rescue of the saman from the vial of La Viña began

Photo Mayor of Valencia

After a technical inspection of the saman of the La Viña vial, in front of the Movistar Tower, the specialists found that 60% of its crown is covered by withered leaves, with completely dry areas on the east and west sides. The fear that the history of the saman of the main avenue of La Viña will be repeated again settled in the city, so efforts to rescue him have already begun.

This specimen would be the second of the most emblematic of the affected city in less than six months. The first was the samán located on the island, between 107th street and the main avenue of La Viña, which in July 2020 was detected a fungus that affected it deeply.

The alarms around the situation of the saman of the La Viña vial went off on October 19, when the first damage to the leaves of this tree began to be noticed, planted by Humberto Martínez Mainardi in the decade of the 60s .

A study carried out on January 15, 2021 by Dr. Domenico Pavone (Facyt UC), the biologist Esmeralda Mujica, the engineers Norka Valero and Daniela Moncada, the latter from the Municipal Institute of the Environment of Valencia; and the architect Jhoana Romero, allowed to detect branches with scant foliage deteriorated from the bottom up and others completely dry. The few fruits that it presents did not manage to develop correctly.

The evaluation team was also made up of doctors Carmen Andara and Julia Alvarez, from Facyt UC, engineer Xiomara Ruiz and lawyer María Valdez

The Samán de la Redoma de La Viña has the same lesion as the samán located on the main avenue of La Viña. Now, it is feared that a phytopathogenic fungus yet to be identified is affecting the iconic tree.

According to the doctor in Soil Sciences, Oswaldo Luque, this fungus blocks the channels through which the tree receives water. The specialist estimates that this injury could possibly be occurring due to water and nutritional stress that the tree may be subjected to for some time. From the study carried out on the 15th of this month, it was agreed to take samples that allow confirming the presence of this fungus when pruning.

The saman also has yellow spots on its leaves, torn areas in the tree’s stem and an abundant presence of large black ants, detected during the evaluation by specialists. Studies leading to the identification of these insects will be carried out to carry out a specific control.

The study also made it possible to detect areas of the grass that are beginning to dry out. The specialists asked the National Institute of Comprehensive Agricultural Health (INSAI),
an inspection of the specimen.

All this work will allow the elaboration of an urgent phytosanitary and horticultural management plan, which allows applying the necessary sanitation to guarantee its maintenance. The specialists consult the members of the technical committee formed in October 2020, and other experts in the area in the country. Photos and videos of the saman were sent to all.

For now, the specialists headed by the biologist Esmeralda Mujica and the engineer Norka Valera, recommended immediate watering with a cistern, early in the morning or late in the afternoon, for a month with frequency interday. This irrigation began on January 19.

Additionally, it was proposed to make a trench about 30 centimeters deep along the entire circumference to dam the water at a distance of 2 meters from the stem, taking care not to damage the roots.

It will also be necessary to apply control mechanisms for potentially harmful insects and control of bachacos and ants on the trunk and in the area around the tree, that is, throughout the vial.

It also requires the pruning of sanitation and formation of the dry branches initially. Some large ones will also be selected, taking care to maintain the stability of the tree. Experts recommended pruning in the waning lunar phase, which will run from January 28 to February 4

For this pruning, which must be notified to the public, operators with special equipment are required.

Additionally, the disinfection of equipment with quaternary ammonium is proposed; have adequate material for the collection and conservation of the tree samples, prepare the Bordeaux paste to be smeared as a healing agent. It will also be necessary to fertilize the foliar part and the root area.

Fertilization will be carried out immediately after pruning, for which Trichoderma and biofertilizers donated by private companies and the Microbiological Research Center of the University of Carabobo will be used. Organic compost of the humus type will also be required.

The specialists requested to contact the phytopathologist Horci Escalante, from the Faculty of Agronomy of the Lisandro Alvarado Central-Western University of Barquisimeto. He will come to study the new patient and initiate an investigation and take samples for analysis at the Dean of Agronomy of UCLA in Barquisimeto. Other emblematic trees of the city will also be monitored.

The teams already organize together with the authorities the emergency phytosanitary and horticultural management plan, which also includes irrigation, pest control, pruning and fertilization of soil and branches.

Press release

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