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

14 °C 9 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    09:56: News on the hour BBC London 94.9 Radio

    More than 1.6 million children are now eating free school meals, including more than 90% of children in inner London who became eligible for them in September.

    Listen to BBC London 94.9 to find out more

     
  2.  
    09:45: Harlequins sign Australia lock BBC Sport

    Harlequins have announced Australia lock James Horwill will join the Premiership club following the conclusion of the 2015 World Cup.

    James Horwill James Horwill captained Australia against the British & Irish Lions in 2013

    The 29-year-old will arrive on a three-year deal from Queensland Reds.

     
  3.  
    09:36: Met diversity

    The Met must do more to ensure its workforce better reflects London's cultural diversity according to a report by the London Assembly.

    In 2013, 11% of officers were from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background, compared with around 40% of the capital's population.

     
  4.  
    09:28: Have your say Andy Dangerfield BBC News Online

    What do you think of BBC Local Live? We'd like your feedback about this service.

     
  5.  
    09:17: 'World leading' research

    The Research Excellence Framework has released a ranking of universities whose proportion of research submitted is "world leading", and a London institution has come top:

    1. London School of Economics - 49.9%
    2. Oxford - 48.1%
    3. Cambridge - 46.8%
    4. Imperial College London - 46.4%
    5. University College London - 42.6%
     
  6.  
    09:11: London overtaking Oxbridge domination Sean Coughlan Education correspondent

    London universities are breaking up the traditional dominance of Oxford and Cambridge, according to official figures on research excellence.

    UCL

    The London School of Economics has the highest proportion of "world-leading" research among UK universities.

     
  7.  
    08:58: News on the hour BBC London 94.9 Radio

    A new report's called on the Met Police to do more to ensure its workforce better reflects the city it serves.

    To find out more, listen live. at 09:00.

     
  8.  
    08:48: Chelsea beat Liverpool Andy Rowley BBC London 94.9

    Chelsea will meet Liverpool in the last four after they ran out 3-1 winners at Bournemouth thanks to two goals from Raheem Sterling.

     
  9.  
    08:40: Vanessa Feltz BBC London 94.9 Radio

    Councils will be told later this morning how much they'll be allowed to spend in the coming year. The annual local government settlement is being announced, when town halls find out how much Whitehall cash they'll get.

    What would you spend it on? Join the discussion with Vanessa from 09:00.

     
  10.  
    08:29: In the papers

    London stories in the nationals today include:

    • The Independent cites Kensal Rise library as an example of the threat to libraries across London.
    • The Telegraph reports Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said a Sydney-style siege was foiled in London.
    Independent front cover
     
  11.  
    08:21: World Cup venue Andy Rowley BBC London 94.9

    Marylebone Cricket Club has announced Lord's has been chosen to host the 2017 ICC Women's World Cup Final and the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup Final.

     
  12.  
    08:15: 12th cyclist killed switched transport London Evening Standard Newspaper

    reports an engineer killed when he was knocked off his bicycle on the way to work had given up riding motorcycles because he believed they were "too dangerous".

     
  13.  
    08:11: Train delays BBC Travel London

    There are delays on Abellio Greater Anglia between Seven Sisters and Liverpool Street because of a signalling problem.

     
  14.  
    08:05: Cloudy and mild

    It will be cloudy and mild with some patchy light rain or drizzle in places becoming more widespread during the afternoon. Highs of 14C (57F). This is the outlook for 15:00 today

    Weather map for 15:00
     
  15.  
    08:00: Good morning Andy Dangerfield BBC News Online

    Good morning, I'll be guiding you through BBC Local Live today until 18:00. Please get in touch with your comments and photos by emailing london.locallive@bbc.co.uk or tweet @BBCLondonNews.

     

Features

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.