Flame Trees: A Political Controversy in San Sebastian

San Sebastian

San Sebastian has been an attraction for the tourist for its vibrant red flame trees, along with the aesthetics of the long and spreading branches of the tree save travelers from the heat of the sun. The trees have been there for ages, they carry cultural beliefs and emotional sentiments attached to them. However, presently it’s a debate-fueled theme in the Canary Islands, the trees are ruthlessly chopped to re-embellish the main town.

Presently elected town mayor Angelica Padilla believes that the flam trees are predominantly non-native and Ficus that should be replaced with native flora. The magnificent trees also obstructed pedestrian access and damaged the water pipes, so it is a conscious political decision taken by her socialist group to enhance the charm of the city, but the opponents have termed this madness and atrocity. Ventura del Carmen Rodriguez, town spokesperson for the main opposition Socialist Party (PSOE) stated, “We are all battling climate change, and trying to create a green San Sebastian. I don’t understand it.” Pressure group spokesman Javier Sanchez says the “nonsensical” cull has deprived the town of much-needed shade and sources of oxygen, and that native and imported trees “have co-existed for many years” there, he added, “Flame trees have been planted for more than a century in the Canaries and are widely loved because they provide a lot of shade in summer and beautiful flowers.”

Biologist Laura Concepcion has confirmed that flam trees aren’t invasive as other ornamental trees however strong surface roots can cause problems in urban life, she also admitted that the roots were obstructing pipelines and causing distortions to stone in some regions. However, the effective decision would have been to chop the roots short and allow the trees to grow and protect the pipelines with enhanced construction. However, it’s best to believe the elected government and trust the process.

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