14ymedio, Havana, 9 March 2017 – The new ceiba tree of El Templete was in place for just one year. The tree itself was 15-years-old but did not survive being replanted at the place where the Villa of San Cristobal of Havana was founded. It had been planted to replace a legendary ceiba, but it dried up until it was just a trunk with a single leaf on one of its branches.
This Thursday, finally, the local authorities have removed what was left of the young replacement tree. In its place there is now only a huge hole surrounded by the dirt that was dug out, that Havanans look at with resignation and tourists with curiosity.
In its place there is now only a huge hole surrounded by the dirt that was dug out, that Havanans look at with resignation and tourists with curiosity
Since last year’s 497th anniversary of the founding of the city, passersby have noticed its speedy deterioration. During the realization of the traditional circling around the tree that takes place every November 16 at midnight, several of those engaged in the ritual noticed that it was “more dead than alive.”
The previous ceiba met its end because it had been devoured by termites from inside, but the new one never really “took” in the place, according to a newspaper seller who offers his papers in the Plaza de Armas.
The Cuban capital is now left without one of its historic symbols.