No one can have failed to have noticed that at the moment this country is in the middle of fighting yet another tree disease. I remember when Dutch Elm diseases took over and killed all the Elm’s, so future generations may never ever see an Elm on the landscape again. Now not only are we fighting Ash dieback, we have other tree diseases changing our landscape forever. It is well known that all the diseases are coming over from Europe and as of yet we seem to have no way of stopping it. I do fear for this countries trees and how it will change our landscape, especially along the canals of the UK. It is true to say that trees can damage the infrastructure of the canal bed, wall and towpaths, but this country of ours is known for its stunning trees, so how can we save our heritage?
Trees affected so far.
- 1. Sadly Ash dieback (Chalara fraxinea) is a very gradual disease that causes slow decline of a tree rather than sudden failure. Chalara dieback of ash is a serious disease of ash trees caused by a fungus called Chalara fraxinea (C. fraxinea). The disease causes leaf loss and crown dieback in affected trees, and usually leads to trees death.
- 2. Sudden oak death (Phytophthora ramorum) is a fungal-algae combination for which there is no known cure. The first know case was identified in the UK in 2007 in Cornwall but has now certainly reached Devon and Somerset and possibly as far as Staffordshire and Hampshire. The Oak is seen all along the canals of the UK and would be a huge loss. There is nothing finer than the mighty Oak, which if it could talk could tell us a lot about this countries history..and
- 3. Alder dieback (Alnus alni) Alders with the disease have lesions on the bark, which spreads throughout the tree with eventual death.
- 4. In 2008 we were told about Horse Chestnut Bleeding canker (Psuedomonas syringae pv aesculi). Symptoms visible on the heavily affected trees include extensive bleeding areas on their stems and sometimes on their scaffold branches. This again can lead to the death of the tree. Can you imagine this country without conker trees?
- The Horse Chestnut has another more damaging insect pest, Cameraria ohridella, it is a leaf mining moth which attacks the leaves of horse chestnut. This pest arrived in the UK in 2002 from elsewhere in Europe, like all the other tree diseases. It is starting to establish in a number of areas and more information about this pest, its impact on horse chestnut.