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A private estate established in 1337 which funds the public, charitable and private activities of the Prince of Wales and his family.

Duchy Head Forester Geraint Richards on tree diseases

As the New Year begins, the Duchy of Cornwall’s Head Forester Geraint Richards speaks about the importance of tree health and how to promote it in 2019.

Q: Why is tree health so important?

A: Trees, woodlands and forests are sometimes called, ‘the lungs of our planet’. As well as providing oxygen they also deliver numerous other environmental, social and economic benefits.  Imagine a world without any trees!  It is so important that our trees remain healthy.

Q: What is one thing individuals can do to promote tree health.

A: We should all be very careful not to introduce pests or diseases into the UK or spread them around the country. This can be avoided by not bringing back plant material from overseas and practicing good biosecurity at home by cleaning vehicles, footwear and tools.

Q: What are the most common tree diseases to come across?

A: Although mature elms have largely been lost from our landscape, you will still spot young elms dying in hedgerows from this disease.  Of current concern is Ash Dieback and you may well notice many an ash tree with fewer leaves, or none at all, as this disease takes hold.

Q: How do you spot tree diseases?

A: Exactly identifying particular diseases can be very tricky but symptoms often include discoloured, or a loss of, foliage, fungal growth on the wood or bleeding stems. For more information on identifying tree diseases DEFRA’s Plant Health Portal and the Forestry Commission’s website are good resources.

Q: What should you do if you think your tree has a tree disease?

A: Check the symptoms and try to identify the disease. Perhaps get specialist advice. You can also take photos of a suspected diseased tree and report it on the Tree Alert website

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