Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree
It was a promising start to the day on Sunday, mixed colours of spring and autumn beautifully combine…..then the clouds rolled in and we had the first period of fairly constant but heavy rain for some time. Best not complain as we have a had a very good run for our money weather wise this late summer.
There are not that many leaves on these lower branches of this very old spreading Horse Chestnut Tree, mainly I suspect, because the higher canopy is very prolific and casts a dark shadow below.
The worry is that whilst this Chestnut is old, but still healthy, other Chestnuts are not. It would seem that a number of pests and diseases are threatening to all but wipe out Chestnuts from our countryside….many established trees have already fallen under the woodsman’s chainsaw.
There are several enemies loose in our woods but I understand that it is two in particular that cause the big problem as they tend to work in tandem….one weakening the tree thus allowing the other to move in.
The first is Chestnut Leaf Blotch (Guingnardia aesculi) although unsightly it is rarely fatal and can be controlled. The second is the Leaf Miner Moth which buries its way through leaf stems. Once the tree is infected it opens the way for other fungi to take over the job of killing the tree.
The big tragedy is that the Leal Miner Moth prefers young trees, so saplings a few years old become easy victims….result, no new stock for replacement planting. If only that was the only woodland problem for over the years our woodlands have been and still are under attack. Diseases have spread in Elm, Ash, Oak and some Pines….so one has to wonder just where will it and how will it end.
So enjoy the woodlands whilst we can
And just imagine….no autumn colour
(C) David Oakes 2016