Kaçanik Palms

There has been a lot of debate recently about the ‘Kaçanik Palm Project’.  For a week or two a digger has been digging out the rough earth and rubble of the grass strip between the Kaçanik cafe road and the River Nerodime, preparing the ground for something.  Speculation in the newspaper teased the Mayor, about the palms, what was the plan, how will they survive?  Then they appeared: a fine row of 22 palm trees 2 metres high spaced along the riverside.  I like them, but I am worried!  It would not be the first ‘greening of Kosovo’ project that ended in dead sticks because of the lack of care and maintenance.

On Friday I trundled into work with Mentor as a travel companion.  He explained that the Skenderbeu Gymnasium students had started the project.  Seeking to improve the Kaçanik environment what would they propose?  The riverside is THE place in the evening and all the town promenade or pause for a coffee… the avenue could take some trees….  then there was research, what place in Italy, for example, would have a similar climate and also palm trees?  The type of palm was chosen on this basis and with the opinion that they will survive winters down to minus minus, even -40C.   Others express scepticism as to whether the 550m altitude of Kaçanik and severe winters (certainly to -20C) will permit the survival of palm.

From my little research the palm looks like the Trachycarpus species, a native of China but now spread widely across Europe and North America.  If they can be kept above minus 10C for a few years until they mature then they have a chance.  Ironically they may find the summer tougher going than the winter.   Mentor told me that an underground watering system has been included in the project so that should really help.  Plus I suppose the river creates a slighter-warmer-than-everywhere-else micro-climate.  I am hopeful of their survival.

 

2 Responses to “Kaçanik Palms”

  1. geoffreybaines Says:

    Here’s to the trees! By the way, I want to join in the “Congratulations, Granddad!” that must be coming your way.

  2. blerina Says:

    luboten is a symbol of Runjeva and palm trees will make it beautiful Kaqanik

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