Trees in GARDENS
Southern Spain may be known as a hot, dry region, but in fact it is an area with many subclimates and thus many types of vegetation – including a multitude of different trees. You can range from the desert temperatures of Almería with areas that barely have a tree in sight to mountain heights that shelter the last ancient “pinsapo” pines to lusher, sub-tropical zones like the Costa Tropical or even the Costa del Sol where so many different types and varieties of trees exist side by side you’d be hard pressed to take an inventory.
In the past, forest and brush fires periodically cleaned out forest areas and kept the vegetation healthy. Nowadays, with fires kept under strict control, other means have to be used to help sick trees. Thankfully, you will find local “tree doctors” who can help should disease or pests from surrounding areas attack the varieties in your garden.
Certain varieties of trees are especially vulnerable to attack, especially if they are not native to this area or if outside pests arrive and find no competition to keep them in check. This is the case of the Palm Beetle, an pest that migrates from Egypt and destroys palm trees. Experts and town halls, along with ordinary citizens, have been waging war on this nasty visitor in areas such as the Costa del Sol. The only solution for an infested palm is to burn it before its inhabitants spread to surrounding trees.
Gardening with TreesBefore rushing out to purchase trees for your garden it would be wise to carefully select a garden centre close to your home. This way you can obtain expert, local advice regarding how specific varieties of trees will or won’t thrive in your particular micro climate. This is especially important when selecting fruit trees as some will flourish only in very specific areas.
Adopt a TreeIn addition to garden centres there are organisations that dedicate themselves to saving trees that would be destroyed through construction and the building of new roads and then placing these trees with home owners or land developers looking for mature trees.This can be an economical way to obtain mature trees because you only pay for the tree’s transportation and – if you like – help planting it properly. Often this is the only way to obtain a century old olive tree, for example.
Protected TreesBefore cutting down a tree, even on your own property, be sure to check with your local town hall. Many types of trees are strictly protected by law and can not be cut down without the proper permissions.