Around 15 percent of the palm trees in Athens?s historic National Gardens have been destroyed by the red palm weevil, an insidious pest that has desiccated hundreds of trees throughout Attica over the past seven years.
Scientists at the Benaki Phytopathological Institute (BPI) for plant health have warned that unless measures to protect the remainder of the Gardens? trees are taken immediately the entire population is at risk as the pest can spread very rapidly.
BPI President Dimitris Kontominas also said that around 30 palms at the Pedion tou Areos Park have been killed by the weevil, saying that the ?protection program should have begun last September, but only did so last month,? and that this delay has increased the risk of infection of the remaining trees in the area.
The BPI, meanwhile, will also be working with the City of Athens to implement protection measures for 100 palm trees that have graced the Greek capital since the 1800s.