For six years the batterius Xylella has been hitting Puglia infecting olive trees in the Salento.
The bacterium holds the water’s transport from the roots to the leaves and dries the ends of the plant. So the leaves get rotted and the bark flakes, slowly bringing the tree to death.
The Xylella is carried by an insect, the leafhopper (Philaenus spumarius), from one plant to another. Experts believe the bacterium arrived in Italy from Costa Rica through the importation of coffee plants. The Xylella is not just an Italian phenomenon. It was discovered in the late nineteenth century and now brings majoragronomic damages in the Americas and in Asia (it is estimated that in viticulture in California the Xylella causes damage worth 104 million dollars a year).
For now there is no cure. Scientific authorities classify the Xylella as a quarantine organism. To prevent a spread of the bacterium, the European union has given the order to extirpate plants in Salento. But the farmers do not want to bring down their trees. They do not want to give up on their landscape and to an old tradition, that’s obvious, but Xylella could spread throughout Italy and undermine the Italian agriculture