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Posts tagged ‘disease’

Ghost elm

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Ghost elm

The ghost of an English elm that died forty years ago from Dutch elm disease (Ophiostoma novo-ulmi).

Ghost elm

Ghost elm, Oxfordshire. DMC-GF2, 7mm (equivalent to 14mm in 35mm ), f11, 1/125th, ISO100, tripod. Post processed Adobe Lightroom.

In an English meadow, this stump is all that remains of a majestic elm Ulms procera that once typified the English landscape until the arrival of Dutch elm disease in the 1960s.

See more of my Elm series

Ride for Research thanked by scientists

August 12, 2011

Gabriel Hemery

The £5,500 raised by 22 cyclists earlier this year in aid of funding research into Acute Oak Decline is being put to good use by scientists at Forest Research.  Organiser Russell Ball has received a letter from Forest Research’s Chief Executive:

I am writing to acknowledge receipt and thank you for the very generous cheque, we have just received from the International Society for Arboriculture following the ‘Cycle Ride for Research’ fundraising event to support the work undertaken by our team on research into Acute Oak Decline.  The money will go towards purchasing laboratory equipment that will facilitate our work and is very much appreciated.

James Pendlebury,
Chief Executive, Forest Research

My thanks to all those who sponsored my part in the 32 mile ride through central London.

Read more about Ride for Research

Gabriel Hemery


pdfDownload the full letter from Forest Research (click on the pdf icon)

£5500 raised for oak disease research

May 3, 2011

Gabriel Hemery

Ride for ResearchMy 32 mile cycling adventure through London in March with 22 other Ride for Research riders, in aid of raising funds to support research into acute oak decline disease, accumulated a total of £5,500.  A cheque was presented recently to scientists from Forest Research.

Russell Ball’s personal account of organising the event and taking part was published recently in the London Tree Officer Association website.

Gabriel Hemery

Oak disease ride one week away

March 16, 2011

Gabriel Hemery

The Ride for Research sponsored cycle ride, in aid of research into oak disease, is one week away today.

I’m looking forward to tackling 15 miles of London’s streets with 29 other riders on 23rd March, visiting three schools along the way to plant trees with children.  I will be taking lots of photos on the day and write further news after the event, so watch this space.

Thanks to the many people who have given so generously and helped me reach my target of £200.  If you are able to help me raise more money to help support this important tree research, please visit my Ride for Research post where you will find instructions on how to donate online.

Gabriel Hemery

Sterilise your pruning tools

March 14, 2011

Gabriel Hemery

I co-authored a pruning leaflet about eight years ago which has been a popular guide for woodland owners, managers and others who care for trees (see previous post).  However, there was a serious omission in the leaflet that has prompted an update: the importance of sterilising tools between trees, and between sites to reduce the risk of spreading infection.

The importance of phytosanitary control is now paramount, with the apparent increase in serious outbreaks of pests and diseases affecting our trees, such as Phytophthora ramorum (Sudden Oak Death) [apologies for incorrectly stating Acute Oak Decline in a former draft].  Knowledge about the impact on disease spread from pruning has existed for over a century: in the USA Waite and Smith (1906) linked fire blight (Erwinia amylovora Burrill) infections in plant nurseries to contaminated pruning tools.  More recently Goodman and Hattingh (1988) reported a 66% infection rate in trees pruned with secateurs treated with bacterial spot (Xanthomonas campestris pv. pruni Smith), although interestingly infection rates were only this high during cool and wet conditions.  The worst case of infection spread will come from pruning weeping bacterial wounds, e.g. cankers, where extreme care should be taken to clean tools after use – better still, wait until the oozing has dried up before pruning.  There is some evidence that even the best cleaning methods are ineffective at removing bacteria from the surfaces of cutting tools (Kleinhempel et al. 1987).

pruning tools to steriliseThe following action is recommended on sites where there is a biosecurity problem but I would go further suggest that it is good practice to follow these recommendations at all times.

Sterilise pruning tools between use on each tree by wiping with a cloth soaked in industrial methylated spirits (IMS).  You should also complete a more thorough sterilisation between sites, by soaking your tools in IMS.

Some suggest using household bleach, perhaps diluted nine parts water to one part bleach.  However, be aware that bleach is extremely toxic to plants, will ruin your clothes if splashed or dripped onto them, and it is a corrosive that will also spoil your tools.

After a hard day’s work in the garden or woods, and following disinfecting your tools using IMS as recommended above, rub some vegetable oil over the metal parts to keep your pruning tools in perfect working order.

Gabriel Hemery

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Fundraising update

February 18, 2011

Gabriel Hemery

So far I have been promised £170 in sponsorship funding for the Ride for Research event on 23rd March – thank you to everyone who has supported me. Can you help me raise more for oak disease research?  Read more

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