Trees can be affected by various pests and diseases that can compromise their health and shorten their life-span. The more common issues currently faced by trees in the borough are listed below.
Fungal spores are present in both the soil and air but for the most part trees are able to resist their attack. However if a tree is injured or heavily pruned it can become infected by wood decay fungi. Some of the most common fungi are described on the Green Man Conservation website.
Oak Processionary Moth
This has recently arrived in the UK and poses a serious threat to both human and tree health. The caterpillar feeds on oak trees and can be responsible for defoliating entire trees, but the greater threat comes from their tiny hairs which contain an irritating substance called thaumetopoein. Contact with the hairs can cause itching, rashes and, less commonly, sore throats, breathing difficulties and eye irritations. It can also be harmful to pets.
The council is working in conjunction with the Forestry Commission to keep this pest under control through controlled spraying and extensive surveying of our trees. For more information please visit the Forestry Commission website.
Horse Chestnut Leaf-Miner
This small bug makes its home in the leaves of horse chestnut trees and then slowly feeds off the leaves throughout the summer, causing them to turn prematurely brown. The council is aware of the presence of this pest and there is no need to notify us. For more information please visit the Forestry Commission website.
The arrival of ash dieback in Britain last year put tree diseases in the spotlight. The following diseases could have a seriously detrimental effect on Ealing’s tree stock:
- Chalara fraxinea
- Acute oak decline
For more information please visit the Forestry Commission website.