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Sudden Oak Death

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Argus

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Being old enough to remember the start of Dutch Elm Disease and the subsequent glut of Elm butts rotting in fields, I was disturbed to hear on the news today an item about Sudden Oak Death. Similar to Dutch Elm Disease, it is a fungus that infects the bark of Oaks, Beech. and other species.

Nowadays, good-quality wide Elm boards are almost impossible to find as a result.

It appears that this new fungus has already been found infecting trees in Cornwall and Sussex.

Some interesting web sites are below.

http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2002/020503b.htm
http://www.forestry.gov.uk/planthealth
 

Alf

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Hell's teeth. That's really bad news. I hope they can do a better job of stopping its spread than they did with Foot and Mouth or we're in the poo. :cry:

Saddened, Alf
 

Argus

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Hope you don't have it on the trees in your backyard, Alf.....

On a serious note, I suspect that the timber is usable, but we don't know what kind of Cordon Sanitaire the authorities (DEFRA, Forestry Commission in this case, not renowned for their enlightened attitudes or quickness off the mark) will place around infected land.

The sad thing is that the landscape was full of Elms at one time, now a thing of the past and Oak, Beech and Chestnut species may go the same way.
 

Alf

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Argus":37yvqfc2 said:
Hope you don't have it on the trees in your backyard, Alf.....
Heck, so do I! :shock:

DEFRA and their little friends will probably decide it's "safer" to destroy/burn infected trees, rather than let anyone use the timber I'll bet. Even if they do, what's the betting they hack it up as firewood anyway? I really hope I'm proved wrong, but I'm not holding my breath. :?

You're right about the landscape; we've already got a time bomb with the big pines that are such a distinctive part of many Cornish views. They were all planted at about the same time, so they're all maturing at the same time - and at risk of falling down at the same time. :( If oaks, holm oaks, chestnuts and beech go too... well it just doesn't bare thinking about.

I'm gonna have to stop writing this; I'm getting really depressed.

Cheers, Alf

Who feels the need to hug a tree all of a sudden.
 

RoyS

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By coincidence, I have just been reading my new RHS Garden magazine which has a note on this disease. The mag obviously went to press a while ago and so does not have the most recent stories but states that, up to then, DEFRA has confirmed just the one case, in Sussex.

The tree was a southern red oak, native to USA and rarely planted in this country. More importantly, it comes from a different group to the N European (and hence, I presume, British) oaks which research shows are more resistant. However, the disease is certainly present on the European mainland.

My recollection from a previous article is that the disease strikes first in plants such as viburnum and rhodendron and then leaps across to oak. Worrying times indeed.

Roy S
 
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Anonymous

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If they do the same as with foot and mouth then they'll discover they have too many trees to burn and will decide to just bury them.

I'd better get the bucket and spade ready!

Dave
 

PitBull

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Greetings,

Further worrying coverage at:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh ... xhome.html

With our denser woodlands the chances of it spreading would appear to be much worse.

I read about this SOD last year and how it was affecting the USA - was expecting to see white Oak prices go up but they don't appear to have done so yet.

If DEFRA (Dept for Eradication of Farming and Rural Areas) are in charge then there's no bloody hope.

Regards.

PitBull.
 
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