Bleeding canker cure set for trial

Arboriculture specialists may have found a cure for bleeding canker in horse chestnut and are to trial a newly patented product with English Heritage.

Arb consultancy JCA managing director Jonathan Cocking said he was trademarking the product, which kills canker bacterium in trees' vascular systems.

Plugs of bark are removed around the chestnut and a tree infusion is screwed into the holes. The process takes an hour and after a year the tree refoliates, he said.

"We are rolling it out with a few high-profile programmes including one with English Heritage. The treatment is invasive, but it's a natural product. It's better to get cracking and save a few trees than run a 10-year study programme only to find at the end of it that all the horse chestnuts have died."

Cocking, based in Halifax, West Yorkshire, worked with a Dutch firm on the cure and aims to license the product this spring.


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