Needle necrosis hits growers

Tree growers face huge losses as needle necrosis threatens to make fir species unmarketable.

Current Season Needle Necrosis (CSNN) has resulted in significant losses for some Christmas tree growers as affected trees have become unmarketable.

The disease, thought to be caused by the fungus Sydowia polyspora, has resulted in greatly reduced crop yields, with losses of as much as £60,000 for a single grower.

CSNN affects Nordman Firs, the dominant species grown in the UK, and some other species, causing a red necrosis on the current season's needles. The causes of the problem and how it spreads are not known and there is no control available for the disease.

ADAS consultant Janet Allen said: "This is not associated with premature needle drop in trees that have been harvested because these trees will never reach the market.

"The potential for losses in the industry is that they may have trees they have grown for six or seven years and are then unable to sell them in the year they want to market them. This could mean that the crop of trees they have reduces significantly. We can't say how much it would be - it could be 10 per cent or it could be 50."

She added that it was not clear how many growers were hit. "It's fair to say it is widespread, but we really don't know how widespread. Looking at the way it has manifested abroad it is probably more common than people realise. One grower I have worked with has lost £60,000 worth of trees because they just can't market them."

Hans Alexanderssen, owner of grower HA Trim, said he had been hit and that he would be discussing the problem with other growers and the British Christmas Tree Growers Association.

Industry seeks answers with added research

"It's clearly a problem that we've experienced. We have a study group working on it and we will hopefully be able to find some answers for the next season. It's a problem in Europe and North America as well. We are using all the research available and doing our own to see whether we can ascertain the reason - or reasons, because there may be more than one. It affects some growers but not all."

Roger Hay, secretary, British Christmas Tree Growers Association.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Myrtus

Myrtus

Myrtle is a tender shrub so it is a plant for milder gardens, but with our changing climate the limits are being pushed, says Miranda Kimberley.

Gaura

Gaura

These robust plants can repeat flower from April to October and nice foliage adds interest, says Miranda Kimberley.

Grower sundries - Options for nurseries

Grower sundries - Options for nurseries

Environmental factors are key for growers choosing the latest pots, growing media, fertilisers and labels, writes Sally Drury.


Opinion... Why no-deal Brexit should worry you

Opinion... Why no-deal Brexit should worry you

Whether you voted leave or remain all those years ago, a "no-deal" Brexit should worry you.

I will not be importing oaks this season. Will you?

I will not be importing oaks this season. Will you?

I find myself in a difficult situation. A few weeks ago I was fortunate to be present to hear details of imminent changes to regulations concerning Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) and oak trees. I heard details, asked questions and probed the implications of these changes. That may not sound like a difficult position to be in, yet I am uneasy.

Opinion... Better targets to tackle pollution

Opinion... Better targets to tackle pollution

Lobby groups jumping onto fashionable campaigns, often to promote their own interests, can do much more harm than good. Take, for example, the move against black polythene plant pots and containers.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +

HORTICULTURE WEEK BUSINESS Awards 2019

The Horticulture Week Business Awards is now open for entries

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 60 Ornamentals nurseries

See our exclusive RANKING of ornamentals nurseries by annual turnover plus the FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles