Aging trees in Barbados, particularly at the island???s parks and beaches, are posing a serious threat to the lives of people and their property.

But, General Manager at the National Conservation Commission (NCC), Keith Neblett, has given the assurance that there are ongoing efforts to remove the dead trees, usually between 30 to 40 years-old, to ensure the safety of the public using the parks and beaches.

He made these comments today during the official launch of Arbor Week 2013 at the NCC???s Codrington, St. Michael headquarters.

Recently, there were fallen trees at the Errol Barrow Park, Rockley Beach and at Folkestone. There were also problems with trees dying at the Drill Hall due to water saturation resulting from challenges with the drainage system. ???We recognise that a lot of trees in Barbados are aging, and this programme of Arbor Day will help to take corrective measures in terms of replacing a lot of the [aging] trees,??? Mr. Neblett said.

He added that 150 trees were pruned over the last year, but a similar number were identified as posing a potential threat and some are still yet to be identified. Noting that the upkeep of trees was a part of the NCC???s Park Maintenance annual budget, Mr. Neblett noted that they were also working with Dendrologist from the National Botanical Gardens, Nigel Jones, to identify other trees which were problematic.

However, he told those present that through an ongoing programme with the Ministry of Public Works (MPW), staff of the NCC were constantly going around the island and removing dead trees to ensure the safety of the public and children using the parks and beaches.

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