Santa Cruz palm trees. Fire damage. Euphonium concert.

Santa Cruz seafront palms “doomed”

Palmeiras em Santa Cruz estão irremediavelmente condenadas.

The Diario last week ran a feature on the palm trees that adorn the seafront in Santa Cruz being hopelessly condemned. The plague of red beetles was first detected in 2009 and already some have had to be cut down, whilst those that are still standing are doomed to follow the same fate according to the vice-Mayor of Santa Cruz, Miguel Alves. Regardless of the genus or species, the many palm trees that lend a subtropical environment to the seafront in this popular town are all being affected by the destructive action of the larvae of this beetle – even those that were protectively treated whilst free from infection. In some cases palm trees can still maintain a healthy appearance, but are already rotten inside.


Work is underway to find alternative solutions to alleviate the visual impact that the disappearance of palm trees is causing. One ornamental tree that is being used is the Pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa) or “New Zealand Christmas Tree” (above), a species native to coastal areas with rapid growth and red flowers.

Fire-fighting costs not met by Lisbon

The Diario reports today that the Portuguese national government has still not offered any state-aid for the €1 million of fire-fighting equipment needed after tackling the fires on the island during 2012 and 2013. Additional resources have been requested from central government, as well as funds to cover replacing hoses etc. – in Funchal alone around €75,000 worth of equipment was damaged in just a few days in August 2013 (blog archive photo above from that month). Financial assistance was promised by Lisbon at the time. A spokesman for the National Association of Professional Firefighters said that whilst they were not actually missing any equipment at the moment, “resources were stretched”.

Euphonium Concert

Regular contributor Sue Marloye-James has requested that the blog publicises the music concert ” The Lyrical Euphonium” on this coming Thursday 22nd January at 9pm at Holy Trinity church, in aid of the bicentenary church restoration project currently underway. Sue notes that

Sadly the euphonium has not shared the glamour of other orchestral instruments and is rarely heard as a solo performer, outside of brass and military bands. However, some composers have written some wonderful orchestral pieces for this most lyrical of brass instruments. As we hope to include many in the programme this is a good opportunity to introduce the music and the instrument to a new audience, as well as share both with those fortunate to be already acquainted with them. We would be most grateful if you could support this event. Tickets are a modest 7.50 euros on the door, but will be available from the church office from one week beforehand. We are extremely grateful to maestro Martin Smith for his offer of a gratis performance during his short stay on the island, and to our friend Andras Hennel for his free services as accompanist.

Euphonium poster

12 thoughts on “Santa Cruz palm trees. Fire damage. Euphonium concert.”

  1. Sad to see the demise of the Palm trees at Santa Cruz. We love this little place and visit frequently. The park and gardens are so well tended, a joy to see. Am sure any new trees planted will thrive and look beautiful. One building there is a sorry sight- an empty block of flats along the seafront road which has been there for years. Not sure if anything is planned but it is not in keeping with the surroundings…

  2. Attended Maritimo v Benfica on Sunday and with so many Benfica supporters there occasionally wondered who were the home team.
    Saw the new statue of Ronaldo today and thought the sculptor must have been blindfolded as it looks nothing like him facially or physically. At a push it could have been Steven Gerard. The one in his museum is an acccurated portrayal but this public one placed where cruise ship visitors cannot miss it is a travesty.

    As ever on our visits the Madeirans are brilliantly friendly and polite which is more than can be said for some German visitors we have encountered this time

  3. Agreed Davidd…….although ALL our guests are extremely nice people!

    We often use the Hotels in Santa Cruz to take our “old” books to and sometimes swap books……happy for us so to do!

    Does anyone know where the Palm Tree Red Beetles came from? Imported On plants?

  4. Eiryl – ugly old block of flats is now unsafe and has barriers on the frontage road……so bits don’t fall on you!
    Should be/due to be, demolished as built without proper planning permission………monies needed though.
    Also the “new” flats/apartments just up from the POST OFFICE (second road back from sea front, behind old illegal flats) are also illegal……they intrude over the pavement and are also empty….. as to their fate…….?

  5. Interestingly, we have guests arriving today who booked to fly from Gatwick with Norwegian Air. However, they were informed they were actually flying with Easyjet! Must be code sharing if the flights aren’t fully booked.

  6. I am told that Norwegian air shuttle cease flying Gatwick to Madeira late March. Travelling via Norwegian saturday, it will be interesting to discover what happens when we arrive Gatwick

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