Unlucky Palm Trees
Unlucky Palm Trees / 14ymedio Marcelo Hernandez
14ymedio, Marcelo Hernandez, 17 March 2017 — As part of the restoration
work of the National Capitol, seven palms were planted at the beginning
of last year on the Paseo del Prado median facing the famous Havana
building. The section that goes from Fraternity Park to near Neptune
Street was then decked out with the national tree, but this lasted for
only a short time.
The planting took place during the days before the visit of the American
president Barack Obama, in which the city lived a dizzying swirl of
construction and beautification. The Department of Forestry of the
Ministry of Agriculture chose the trees that would be transplanted and
experts in the matter offered advice for their rapid acclimatization.
With precision, the construction workers made wide planting areas
surrounded by paving stones while the nearest neighbors debated whether
or not to have these plants that, although they are not native to the
Cuban archipelago, are consecrated in the left pavilion of the coat of
arms of the Republic.
Within a year of their planting, the palms were dying one by one. They
were planted in the appropriate soil and neighbors say they were watered
frequently despite the city’s water shortage, but they did not survive
Those who claim to know certain intimacies of nature ensure that before
relocating a palm tree to a new site it is necessary to mark on its
trunk a sign that shows which side faces the sun. The tree should be
placed in the same direction. Failure to do so, results in the plume of
leaves looking “disheveled” at the first light of dawn.
No one can assure that this requirement was met. Like other facts that
become a “state secret,” no public official has felt it necessary to
offer an explanation for the mass death. At the same time another
transplanted tree died, the young ceiba that was replanted a year ago in
the Plaza de Armas of Old Havana and that honors the foundation of the city.
Source: Unlucky Palm Trees / 14ymedio Marcelo Hernandez – Translating