tree health

Tree health conference at Kew

Professor Nicola Spence, chief plant health officer at Defra

OPAL's Research Associate, Dr Nidhi Gupta, reports from an international conference on tree and plant health held at Kew Gardens.

"The trees, the flowers, the plants grow in silence. The stars, the sun, the moon move in silence. Silence gives us a new perspective" – Mother Teresa

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Seeing the tree in a wood

By Barbara Brown, OPAL Community Scientist in South Wales

Tree in wood with zoom blur effect

If you have ever recognised a face in a crowd when you are not searching, when you are thinking about that band, or the bus times… then suddenly, something in your subconscious flashes out “look there”... you will understand how a person can pick out the needle in the haystack which is one small sick tree in a wood.

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When we went down to the woods that day...

By Matt Keyse
OPAL Community Scientist, FSC Scotland

Scotland is blessed with a variety of natural assets and resources. Many large companies and organisations are involved with rural industries like forestry, farming and conservation but are struggling to find a supply of knowledgeable, skilled and experienced staff.

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Students study Scarborough tree health

By Dr Charles Lane
Consultant plant pathologist, Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera), York

Earlier this month I was joined by entomology colleagues from Fera, Neil Audsley and Howard Bell, to train a group of undergraduate students from Leeds University as part of their week-long field studies course at Scarborough with Prof Elwyn Isaac.

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Tree health hunt in the Howardian Hills

By Dr Charles Lane
Consultant plant pathologist, Food and Environment Research Agency, York

I recently took a great walk on a lovely sunny evening in the Howardian hills in North Yorkshire with fabulous views over Castle Howard estate, an area of dense mixed woodland with a predominance of Ash but also Horse Chestnut and Oak.

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Keep your eyes peeled for tree pests and diseases

It’s a prime time of year to start spotting pests and diseases that can affect the health of trees with the help of the OPAL tree health survey.

The survey, which is taking place across the UK for a second year, asks the public to report their findings – good or bad – and keep their eyes peeled for the ‘Most Unwanted’, six pests and diseases which could pose a serious threat to our trees.

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Tree health survey scoops Government award

The OPAL tree health survey has been recognised at Defra’s annual Team Awards, winning the department’s Civil Service Reform Award.

The survey was developed last year by OPAL partners working with the Government agencies Fera (the Food and Environment Research Agency) and Forest Research.

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Prime time to spot Oak mildew

It is one of the commonest diseases of Oak leaves, and right now, Oak mildew is particularly visible thanks to the cold spring and early summer heatwave.

The disease, caused by the fungus Erysiphe alphitoides, attacks young leaves and sometimes the young shoots, and is characterised by a white or greyish-white powdery coating on leaves and shoots.

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Get involved in the tree health survey this summer

Scientists are urging people across Britain to get outdoors and examine the health of the trees in their gardens, local parks or woodlands before the end of September.

The OPAL tree health survey, which launched in May, gives people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to learn more about our trees and help scientists protect them from pests and diseases including Ash Dieback.

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