Horse Chestnut Canker
Horse Chestnut Canker
Horse Chestnut Canker - Symptoms, Treatment and Management

Horse Chestnut Canker - Symptoms Treatment and Management

Although it is known that the fungal pathogen Phytophthora can cause canker infections, recent research has shown that most infections are the result of the bacterium Pseudomonas syringae pv. aesculi, which causes the affected bark to weep a dark sticky fluid. Cankers can be seen at any time of year. A report by the Forestry Commission has found that around 50% of Horse Chestnuts in the UK are infected, increasing to over 75% in the south east.

Below is a short video showing infected trees in Kent

Horse Chestnut Canker - Symptoms

  • Brownish weeping liquid from cracks in the bark
  • This can dry out to form a black stain
  • Removing infected bark bark reveals brown or purple discoloured areas
  • Healthy inner bark is a white or pinkish colour
  • Dead bark may drop off exposing the wood
  • Necrotic tissue extends and grows

Trees show variable responses to the disease. Some infections can endure for years, stabilising and having minimal effect on the crown. Other infections can have a severe effect on the crown, resulting in dieback and eventual death of the tree.

PDFGuide to Horse Chestnut Canker

How We Can Help

We will positively identify the presence of Horse Chestnut Canker and recommend a schedule of work to manage the disease. First and foremost we will inspect the tree to ensure that there is no personal injury risk due to falling branches that have been weakened by the disease. There are no chemical or biological agents which can be used against the pathogen so management consists of limiting the spread of the disease.

Many Horse Chestnuts can happily withstand the infection, so monitoring and pruning , rather than complete removal is the answer. Other trees can show severe deterioration, so removal may be the only answer.

Our Specialist Tree Consultant will recommend the best course of action. Any removed or felled material will need to be disposed of in a biologically secure way to prevent the disease from spreading. Our recommended Tree Surgeons are Licensed Waste Carriers and can do this for you, or the material can be burnt on site.

Give us a call for some friendly help and advice.

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