Paphos municipality and its mayor have rejected accusations levelled by the Paphos greens that the cutting dozens of trees and “indiscriminate deep pruning” on others were unnecessary.
In order to “restore the truth” after criticism related to cutting down poplar trees on Europe Avenue, the municipality said it wished to clarify the situation.
In the last three years, it said, the trunk of the trees were rotting and aging due to an infestation by a pathogen causing extensive tissue necrosis, which resulted in the tree drying out and the rot extending downwards.
“It should be noted that the municipal expert mentioned that the choice, years ago, of this type of poplar for planting in this area was inappropriate, as this species needs particularly moist soils and low temperatures,” it added.
As these conditions do not prevail in the planting area, the tree was susceptible to disease and its life cycle limited.
Due to these points, the responsible municipal expert found that there was necrosis, and that the branches of the trees were falling on both the pavement and the road, resulting in a serious risk of accidents to pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.
“To prevent such a risk, the officer twice called on the forestry department to conduct an examination in the area. They found the trunks and branches were rotting and gave consent to cut the trees.
The municipality said that with this consent, they proceeded to cut down stricken and dangerous trees, as part of the cleanliness and pruning campaign carried out by the green service on the town’s roads.
“It is stressed that the cutting of these trees took place in the presence of a representative of the forestry department who supervised and controlled the entire process , even though its permission was not needed due to the small cross-section of the trunk,” it noted
The announcement also clarified that the mayor of Paphos did not sign or give any instructions for cutting down the trees and the matter was handled by the competent office.