Posts tagged ‘disease’
The ghost of an English elm that died forty years ago from Dutch elm disease (Ophiostoma novo-ulmi).
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
August 12, 2011
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.
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
May 3, 2011
My 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.
March 16, 2011
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.
March 14, 2011
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).
The 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.
February 18, 2011
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