Rescue bid launched for the original Bramley tree

A "last-ditch attempt" is being made to save the original 200-year-old Bramley apple tree using a pioneering technology.

The tree, in a garden in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, is the parent of all the commercial and domestic Bramley apple trees in the world. But it is currently ravaged by honey fungus and has been predicted to live only another two years without successful intervention.

"It is really very much a race against time but we are optimistic that a chemical we have developed could eradicate the fungus," said Guy Eatch, managing director of Nottingham-based BioActive Environmental Technologies. "We are planning to spray the tree with a unique molecule called SingloTex that when activated by light produces potent, high-energy singlet oxygen, which is antifungal, antimicrobial, antibacterial and antiviral."

Before the original tree is treated, BioActive will trial the spray on younger Bramley apple trees, with results expected shortly. "We also intend to use some other innovative BioActive chemicals to treat the roots of the tree where there is no light," Eatch added.

University of Nottingham emeritus professor Edward Cocking, who has studied the tree for many years, has lent his support to the move, saying it is "worthwhile testing" with "a good chance of success". SingloTex was invented by California-based British scientist Barry Noar, whose company Singlogen recently joined forces with BioActive to form Anglo-American enterprise Singlobet. Eatch added: "It could even be a cure for other tree diseases like ash dieback or canker."

Meanwhile, an online funding campaign has been launched on the We Fund Any Charity website to raise £100,000 to treat the Southwell tree. If successful, supporters who contribute £100 or more will each receive a clone of the tree or a miniature bonsai version.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Battery tools on the up

Battery tools on the up

The revolution in battery powered equipment continues apace with more manufacturers offering ever-improving machines, Sally Drury reports.

Chainsaws and pruning tools

Chainsaws and pruning tools

Selecting the most appropriate equipment for the job is key to getting the best result and there are plenty of new options, Sally Drury finds

Careers profile - Local authority tree officer

Careers profile - Local authority tree officer

A tree officer works for a council and is responsible for the care and management of trees owned by the local authority, including trees in public woodlands, parks, country parks and roadsides.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Arboriculture Contracts & Tenders

Jeremy Barrell On...

Jeremy Barrell

Tree consultant Jeremy Barrell reflects on the big issues in arboriculture.

Products & Kit Resources