Monday, January 14, 2008

Oak - decline and sudden death.

Just when you think you've had some good news (re-introduction of elm) some bad news comes along to redress the balance. This mornings wo is 'oak decline', a contagion affecting oaks, killing them slowly from the top down. To date the disease has been reported in over 100 areas of the country and is predicted to be as bad as Dutch Elm Disease was - I sincerely hope not. The disease has been around for some while, with small outbreaks occurring in isolated areas. Now however, possibly as a result of a lack of cold winters, the disease appears to be gaining ground and becoming more of a problem; it having mutated to an 'acute' form killing trees quicker. To make it more complicated, a tree infected with 'oak decline' becomes more susceptible to 'sudden oak death' a separate disease caused by a fungus.
Picture from Telegraph.co.uk

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