Thursday, September 21, 2006
The end of conkering???
You may or may not have noticed what had appeared to be, early autumnal onset for the Horse Chestnet tree. Long before all the other trees started turning this year the 'conker' trees were going brown.
My initial reaction was to think that there was a weird onset of early autumn. What with the late spring, the record breaking hot July then the absurdly wet August, I didn't really think that the conker trees trurning brown was that odd. However, the horse chestnut is under attack from the worst tree blight seen since Dutch Elm disease wiped out the entire population back in the 70s.
The trees are under three pronged attack from drought, moth larvae and disease, and thousands of trees are literally dying where they stand. Many trees have failed to produced conkers this year and as many as 10% may be under threat this year.
However, as these are very much an urban tree and effected trees may lose branches, even if unlikely to die many may be felled for traffic and pedestrian safety reasons.
At present there is no way of knowing how this will effect the population. I for one am hoping they make through, I'd love my boys to waste the amount of hours I did throwing sticks in to the higher reaches of treetops.