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Horse chestnut trees

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Joined 30-03-2005
Posted on Sunday, 27 August, 2006 - 03:16 pm:   

Some horse chestnut trees in my road appear to be diseased. Their leaves are turning brown. has anyone else noticed any trees like this?
Joined 24-03-2004
Posted on Sunday, 27 August, 2006 - 04:28 pm:   

Seen some articles in the press about this recently. Apparently quite a proportion are now infected.
Joined 28-01-2004
Posted on Monday, 28 August, 2006 - 10:30 am:   

From what I remember of the press coverage, the trees are being affected by no less than three different infections - a leaf boring moth, a mildrewy fungus, and a canker. The dry weather has made them more susceptible to the problem.

There is a campaign to get the local authorities to carry out a London-wide census using their tree officers. Not sure if there's been any progress on this.

Driving in from the M4 this morning, it looks like most of London is affected.
Joined 28-01-2004
Posted on Monday, 28 August, 2006 - 10:32 am:   

Here's some stuff. It would be tragic to loose them... 221875.ece
Joined 07-06-2006
Posted on Monday, 28 August, 2006 - 04:01 pm:   

Every single chestnut tree in this area (behind Waldram Park Road) is affected. They have been brown since late spring/early summer. I assumed it was a drought issue, but this sounds bad.

Thankfully we have a beautiful walnut tree that seems to have escaped, but the others do look very worse for wear
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 05 September, 2006 - 10:06 am:   

Has anyone heard anything recently on this? Is it fatal to the trees? If it is fatal, then the council should be pressed to quickly replace the lost trees. The greenery of FH is one of the finer aspects of the neighbourhood and gives the area a much more pleasant character than it would otherwise have.
Joined 28-03-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 05 September, 2006 - 06:29 pm:   

Oldies like me will remember similar happening in the 1976 drought. The present dry weather has also been mentioned in the press as a reason for an early autumn for chestnut trees. Let's hope they recover as we have lost numerous healthy trees in the area!
Joined 19-03-2005
Posted on Friday, 08 September, 2006 - 09:47 am:   

Apparently, the problem is a moth (Cameraria ohridella, the Leaf Mining Moth) which was first identified in 1986. The main host plant is the white flowering horse-chestnut, Aesculus hippocastanum.

Lewisham's Tree Officer, has the following to say on the subject: "We have consulted extensively with all the major biodiversity advisory groups (we are a member of the London Biodiversity Partnership whose members are professional ecologists, botanists etc) and they are all unfortunately in agreement that there is very little that can be done.

"It is recognised that pruning and the sweeping up and destruction of infected leaves can assist in keeping numbers down and containing this pest to a degree and we do this with our street trees anyway. Major difficulties are encountered however when managing other green sites where the removal of green litter is detrimental to the sites for other reasons. It is also operationally very difficult to do this.

"The consensus of the professionals seems to be that we will have to do what we can on the manageable sites and eventually, given the high numbers of these moths are a great food source, predators will increase and will check the numbers. It would appear that our weather conditions are perfect for this insect just now and that hasnít helped. Apparently, abroad, tree stock has been drastically pollarded and leaf clearance vigilant, however, whilst this has helped to a degree it hasnít solved the problem.

"These insects breed in their millions and continue to move from site to site, either by natural causes (windblown) or unnatural causes (transported via trucks, cars etc). It seems that their movement from continental Europe has been facilitated by canvas covered trucks and given the permanent movement of vehicles, even if were had pest free tree stock now, their continual reintroduction is inevitable.

"All organisations connected with biodiversity would love to find a long term solution that is viable, however, in reality, it would appear that at this present time this doesnít exist.

"In the mean time we will continue to do what we can with trees that are located in areas where some management of this pest is possible."

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