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Tree health news

Action plan launched to eradicate the oak processionary moth from the UK

Forestry, health and local authorities launched a joint plan to try to eradicate a recently arrived moth that threatens Britain's oak trees and human health, from London. Oak processionary moth (Thaumetopoea processionea) is a native of southern and central Europe it turned up on trees in west and south-west London in summer 2006. The Oak processionary moth has begun breeding in Oak trees in a number of locations in London including Kew Gardens. How to help You can help by reporting sightings of the caterpillars (the moth's larval stage) or its nests. For more information and how you can report sighting please visit the link below.

Web: Forestry Commissions website

Advice on management of bleeding canker of horse chestnut

Confirming exactly what agents are causing horse chestnut bleeding canker is critical to any recommendations about effective control measures. Before embarking on any control measures on sites where there is a significant number of horse chestnuts, a survey to assess the number of affected trees is recommended.

There is no chemical treatment currently available to cure or arrest the development of bleeding canker:

  • If the lesions become so extensive that the entire trunk is girdled, the tree will inevitably die and have to be removed and disposed of appropriately.
  • If major branches are infected and show dieback they should be removed, because recently-dead branches of horse chestnut may be susceptible to sudden fracture and drop as the wood dries out.

Advice on the best time of year to prune is given in Arboriculture Note 117 (Lonsdale, 1993). However, many trees with trunk infections retain healthy-looking crowns and may not pose an immediate safety risk. Some may even survive for many years as disease progression can be very slow or even cease, and show signs of recovery as vigorous callus development occurs at the margins of wounds created when bark has been killed by the disease.

Detailed information

Specific recommendations
Disposal of infected material