Tree officers call for "proportionate" response to massaria threat

Avenue of London planes trees in Hyde Park - image: HW
Avenue of London planes trees in Hyde Park - image: HW

The London Tree Officers Association (LTOA) has published a guidance document for tree managers on how to cope with and record instances of the plane tree disease massaria (Splanchnonema platani).

Produced in collaboration with Treework Environmental Practice and the Arboricultural Association, the guide is intended to help avoid unnecessary and inappropriate interventions.

The fungus has only been recorded in London since 2007. It is thought to infect drought-stressed branches, spreading to larger branches which are then shed.

LTOA chair Jake Tibbetts said: "The biggest risk posed to the London plane tree population is a disproportionate response to the problem, driven by an exaggerated perception of public safety risk.

"The unnecessary pruning or felling of London's plane trees would be significantly detrimental to both the tree and human populations of London."

The document is avaible to download from the LTOA website


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