Heatwave Causes Palm Trees To Wilt & Collapse

This footage shows how the mercury in Spain is so high, even the palm trees are wilting.

The clip, filmed in Crevillent, Alicante province, shows how one tree wilts so much, it snaps in half.

Local media said that between 17th and 18th July, nearly a dozen palm trees in Alicante province met the same fate.

Elche, Benidorm, and Torrevieja are among the places where palms have come crashing down amid the scorching heat.

The trees are sometimes snapping in half as they tip over. On other occasions, they are toppling at the roots.

Biology professor Manuel Crespo from the University of Alicante directly links the ongoing heatwave to the palms’ deaths.

He told local media: “Should irrigation be reduced due to drought, the compacting of the soil can lead to root damage due to insufficient aeration, ultimately weakening the plant and possibly causing it to detach from the ground in extreme cases.”

He added that although palm trees are often present in deserts, “they are only found in oases with abundant groundwater”.

Agronomist and Spanish Landscapers’ Association president Jose Luis Romeu also told local media: “Palm trees can fall due to multiple factors, and one of them is lack of irrigation. The stiffer the trunk of a palm tree, the higher the risk.”

He added: “In the past, palm trees, especially in Elche, were located around irrigation ditches. Now, in parks with sprinkler irrigation, water only reaches the first few centimetres.

“While it’s true that there were significant rains in April, May, and June, providing important and sufficient irrigation, we are currently dealing with a lot of water stress and abrupt temperature changes, and the plant does not have the capacity for such rapid adaptation.”

The agronomist continued: “If palm trees are placed in areas where they cannot expand their root system and anchor themselves well to the substrate, it can lead to the plants becoming unstable and falling.”

The palms that end up on the ground are usually female specimens because they bear more weight due to dates.

The recent tree falls in Alicante province have had an adverse effect on local cultural events.

The Elche Film Festival decided to cancel all its screenings in the Hort del Xocolater garden this week after a seemingly-healthy palm tree collapsed on 16th July.

The organisers cited the heatwave and the risk of further falls as reasons for moving out of the palm-filled venue.

The city’s palm grove is the largest in Europe and one of the largest in the world. The temperature there is predicted to reach 34 degrees Celsius on 21st July.