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Autumn Tree Tips
8/4/2014 12:58:08 PM
Autumn Tree Tips

Hopefully you are all managing to find the time to enjoy your trees this summer, however, it’s not too early to start thinking about what autumn might bring. With that in mind, this month’s offering contains some topical tips on what to look for with fungal parasites, as well as some brief words on Ash Dieback.

Autumn is the season when fungi are most obvious. It is therefore the best time to assess their impact on your tree’s health and to plan any remedial action that may be required over the winter. There are hundreds of species of fungi that live on or alongside our trees, some harmless, some fatal; it would be impossible to list them all here. However, to get a rough idea of risk to your trees, there are 3 areas of a tree that should be checked for fungi: Firstly, pay close attention to the base and the area immediately around the tree looking for cavities, areas of rot or discolouration with or without any fruiting bodies (brackets, mushrooms, canker, etc.). Also, look for any collections of mushrooms upon the ground that might be associated with the tree’s root system.

Secondly, inspect the stem (trunk) and major limbs for discolouration and any erupting fruiting bodies, particularly, in this case, brackets. If your trees have sustained any damage over the previous year, these areas require particular scrutiny as they afford excellent points of infection for spore-based organisms.

Finally, take time to inspect the tree’s crown, both as a whole and along individual limbs, looking for areas of premature dieback, and large or obvious pieces of deadwood.

Should you encounter any of the symptoms above, or have noticed fungi growing on or around your trees, or have any suspicions about the health of your trees in general, get in touch for a free, expert assessment.

Lastly, a few words about Ash Dieback (Chalara fraxinea). Whilst symptoms may have been evident on infected trees from the first flush of ash leaves in May, it is worth paying close attention to ash over late summer and early autumn. Look for browning leaves, dieback in the crown and marked stains on twigs, branches and the tree stem. For a complete guide, including a handy download pack and instructions on how to report a suspected outbreak, go to http://www.forestry.gov.uk/chalara

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