A big part of what we do at Ross Francis Tree Surgery, is dealing with common pests and tree diseases found around Cumnor. A tree or hedge that’s riddled with disease or pests may call for tree removal, but when spotted early, some can be dealt with via procedures like hedge cutting and tree pruning. On this page, our tree surgeons have looked to provide some detail on three of the most common pests, and three of the most common diseases encountered in both Cumnor and wider Oxfordshire, so that you can be on the lookout for them and know what you’re dealing with.
Should you have any concerns that a tree or hedging plant might be experiencing an issue, or for some reason might require the attentions of an arboricultural expert, don’t hesitate to call the Ross Francis Tree Surgery team on 01865 241 925 or 07972 673 636. Our fully qualified team of tree surgeons offer a fantastic standard of customer service, at highly competitive prices.
ASIAN LONGHORN BEETLE
Originating in China and Korea, these rather nasty looking things typically feast on broadleaved trees. While they usually stay around the area in which they’ve originally infested, they can actually fly distances of up to 2km. They’re found throughout the UK, not least in Cumnor as the south east and south coast of England are popular spots. If found while carrying out tree pruning, tree removal or hedge cutting – our tree surgeons will see the extent of the outbreak and suggest a means of action.
HORSE CHESTNUT LEAF MINER
First found in the UK in 2002, these have spread throughout most of England and Wales, and even up to Scotland (just once). So they should certainly be on the green-thumbed of Cumnor’s radar. As the larvae mine the leaves, population increases and eventually all the leaf tissues are destroyed. While they do cause significant damage to horse chestnut leaves annually, and an unsightly discolouration, the tree itself will be fine and recover the spring following infestation. As a result, tree removal is an overreaction, but any tree surgery specialist can carry out tree pruning to get rid of the discoloured leaves.
OAK PINHOLE BORER
While the name implies it solely targets oaks, this borer will target other hardwoods if presented the opportunity. It heads deep into the heartwood of trees which are already experiencing an ailment. In this respect, they don’t cause damage, merely capitalise on it. As oak and hardwood is quite valuable, these can be problematic due to the aesthetic “damage” they cause. Tree removal can sometimes be necessary if the tree is badly damaged, but tree pruning is useless.
SWEET CHESTNUT BLIGHT
Caused by a fungus, this can be fatal to European sweet chestnut trees, and has been especially problematic in the U.S (where it killed upwards of 3.5bn trees in the first half of the 20th century alone). Sometimes, it effects oak trees – although does little if any real damage. Unfortunately, procedures like tree pruning and hedge cutting do no good, and infected sweet chestnuts within the area of contamination need to undergo tree removal. Tree surgeons then burn them, to ensure that it doesn’t spread.
Ross Francis Tree Surgery has noticed that many ash trees can actually resist dieback, which is caused by a fungus that leads to leaf loss, crown dieback and lesions on their bark. However, we still urge Cumnor clients who suspect an outbreak to call our tree surgeons in. It’s an issue that needs monitoring, to ensure it doesn’t somehow spread or cause a major safety concern.
ACUTE OAK DECLINE
Effecting thousands of oak trees throughout the UK, not least in Southern England, acute oak decline can be spotted by the dark fluid that oozes from cracks in their bark. Tree surgeons can’t really do much about this deadly disease, which usually kills specimens off in a 4-5 year span. Getting a tree surgery firm to continually monitor said decline, to ensure there are no immediate safety concerns (e.g a weak branch falling and injuring someone), could be a good idea.
We’d also recommend Cumnor clients avoid touching the infected tree. You might end up transferring it from one to another. Tree removal or tree pruning could be employed once the tree is structurally unsound.
Think you’ve spotted a pest or disease described above? Give us a call! The same goes if you should require an expert team of tree surgeons to carry out tree pruning, tree removal, hedge cutting or any of the other services that Ross Francis Tree Surgery carries out in and around the Cumnor area.