horse chestnut

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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What have your tree health survey results revealed?

Analysis of the early results you have sent in for the OPAL tree health survey has already revealed some interesting trends.

Although the results have not yet been verified, early indications are that most trees are pest and disease-free – but one particular species is more likely to be affected.

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Horse chestnut leaf miner

Last weekend I visited the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, which is an odd mixture of sculpture and rather "human-made" nature, with lots of big trees in a parkland setting. There were a few horse chestnuts there, whose leaves seemed to be turning brown more quickly than some of the other species. I had a closer look and noticed that the leaves were covered in little yellow/brown blotches. This was evidence of the horse chestnut leaf miner, Cameraria ohridella, a moth whose caterpillar lives between the surfaces of the leaf.

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