tree health

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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Dara O Briain gets the lowdown on the OPAL tree health survey

It's not every day that your work gets a mention on a primetime BBC TV show. But last night, the OPAL tree health survey was among the projects covered on Dara O Briain's Science Club.

The programme focused on citizen science, looking at projects around the world harnessing the power of mass participation, such as Californians recording earthquake activity data on their laptops.

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Survey up to 50 trees with new forms

New recording sheets will enable people to easily record data for large numbers of trees for the OPAL tree health survey.

The electronic version allows you to record tree health data for up to 50 trees using your laptop, tablet or other portable electronic device without needing access to a wifi connection or a mobile internet signal.

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Minister calls on everyone to protect trees

Everyone has a role to play in the battle to protect trees and plants, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said today.

The Minister was speaking as he visited Chelsea Flower Show to see the ‘Stop the Spread’ garden, part-funded by Defra and the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) – a partner in the development of the OPAL tree health survey.

The garden contrasts a healthy natural environment with an avenue of lifeless trees to show what could happen if tree and plant diseases were left unchecked.

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