Tree disease 'threatening' City of London

Oak Processionary Moth Oak Processionary Moth can irritate human skin

Related Stories

London's tree population could be "seriously damaged" unless a wider range of species is introduced.

A report by the City of London Corporation (CLC) said unless tree stock is diversified, susceptible trees would be attacked by disease.

The main diseases include Oak Processionary Moth and Massaria. Ash Dieback is due to reach London by 2014.

Mark Boleat, from the corporation, said: "A more proactive approach is needed to protect the tree population."

  • Ash dieback - chronic fungal disease of ash trees causing leaf loss and crown dieback
  • Massaria infects branches of plane trees. The fungus causes branch death and rapid decay
  • Oak Processionary Moth is a moth whose caterpillars can be found in oak forests. They are a human irritant because of their poisonous hairs, which cause skin irritation and asthma

The report, Tree Diseases in London: The Economic, Social and Environmental Impact said the diseases were attacking London's green spaces which cover about 40% of London.

It said that more species needed to be introduced after research found that in the City of London there were 220 varieties of tree, but 45% were from just five species.

The report suggested the lack of diversity could increase the risk of new diseases and pests spreading, which could have a "catastrophic" effect on the overall tree population.

It also said it was essential that boroughs coordinated diversification.

Currently, trees are being attacked by fungal disease, Massaria and Oak Processionary Moth which can irritate human skin and cause a rash.

Oak Processionary Moth Oak Processionary Moth can cause a rash

Although Ash Dieback is not in the capital yet it is expected to hit by the end of next year.

Mr Boleat said: "They [trees] bring a wide range of benefits to the capital so it is vital that we act now to tackle emerging threats.

"The City of London Corporation is committed to working with the Forestry Commission and other authorities to contain new diseases and pests."

The report added: "Picture London tomorrow, without its plane trees. The effect on the townscape would be dramatic - the loss would be sudden - the replacement not forthcoming for decades. The loss of benefits to human wellbeing would be drastic."

CLC manages about 11,000 acres of open space in London including Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest and Burnham Beeches.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC London

Weather

London

16 °C 8 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    Easter Sunday 09:15:

    BBC London 94.9 reporter Jason Rosam tweets: The Bishop of London hands me a red painted egg for #Easter during his interview on @BBCLondon949 today. #HappyEaster

    Easter egg
     
  2.  
    Top news stories 08:53: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    From 09:00, Harriet Scott and Chris Rogers will be looking back over some of the big news stories of the week, including teenage pregnancies after a 12-year-old London girl became a mother and the rise in the number of people using food banks.

    Also in focus are the big issues in next month's local elections.

     
  3.  
    Easter travel 08:36:

    Disruption over the Easter period for improvement works:

    • District Line: No trains between Ealing Broadway and Turnham Green until Tuesday
    • Jubilee Line: No trains between Waterloo and Finchley Road until Tuesday
    • Piccadilly Line: No trains between Acton Town and Uxbridge until Tuesday
    • Bakerloo Line: No trains between Harrow & Wealdstone and Willesden Junction today
    • London Overground: No trains between Surrey Quays and Clapham Junction all weekend, and no trains between Watford Junction and Queens Park today
    • DLR: No service between Stratford and Bow Church until 2200 on Friday 25 April.
     
  4.  
    Cloudy with rain 08:12:

    It will be cloudy with occasional rain this morning.

    A band of heavier and more persistent rain will spread from the south in the afternoon, but it is expected to become drier by late evening. Highs of 15C (59F).

     
  5.  
    08:00: Debabani Majumdar BBC News Online

    Good morning. I'll be with you until 18:00 with the latest news, sport, travel and weather for London.

    You can tell me your news by emailing london.locallive@bbc.co.uk or tweeting @BBCLondonNews.

     

Features

  • The OfficeIn pictures

    Fifty landmark shows from 50 years of BBC Two


  • French luxury Tea House, Mariage Freres display of tea pots Tea for tu

    France falls back in love with tea - but don't expect a British cuppa


  • Worcestershire flagFlying the flag

    Preserving the identities of England's counties


  • Female model's bottom in leopard skin trousers as she walks up the catwalkBum deal

    Why budget buttock ops can be bad for your health


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.