Florence ART News - Science

A contribution by the
Town Council Environment Office
of Fiesole (Florence)

This article was sent to us by the Town Council Environment Office of Fiesole,one of the communes just outside Florence which is particularly sensitive to thecypress problem. We are happy to publish it in the hope that other communes willtake an example from that of Fiesole.

The summer of 1997 will be remembered by the inhabitants of Fiesole as the summer of the red cypresses. After the pine trees were infested by the procession caterpillar (Thaumetopea pytiocampa) in the winter, in the spring the cypresses in the gardens and woods of Fiesole were attacked by canker (Seiridium cardinale) and an aphid (Cinara cupressi) which turns them a deadly red.

Many people asked the Environment Office for advice which, in contact with the Provincial Department for Agriculture and Forestry and the ARPAT Forestry Section, is studying the phenomenon. Fiesole Town Council also set up a joint-effort with the CNR (National Research Council) through the Forestry Pathology Institute of the University of Florence.

Fiesole Council Administration has vowed to save the cypress insofar as it is a fundamental element in the landscape and ancient gardens of Fiesole. Besides the eradication of the above-mentioned pathologies and prevention work, this commitment is aimed at trying to progressively replace the felled diseased trees with others specifically grown for the purpose. These trees are more resistant to unexpected changes in weather and climate and to parasites.

The Council Environment Office is at the disposal of all those who own gardens and/or woods and offers total collaboration in order to conserve the public and private green resources, also in terms of the dendrophobia of those who are unaware of the importance of trees for the future of humanity. As Chateaubriand maintained almost two centuries ago, "The forest precedes man and the desert follows him".

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