Tree Advice Trust reports on winners and losers of 2010 weather

The Tree Advice Trust has reported on the "winners and losers" of 2010, asking if the unusually cold winter by recent standards followed by an relatively warm and dry spring had an influence on trees.

The Trust found that the cold "does not appear to have had a seriously adverse effect on any tree species".

But it reported that sycamores were now showing sparse foliage or even dieback:

"We have had an enquiry from East Anglia about Sycamore trees flushing and then shedding all their leaves. Similar incidents have not been reported from other areas and the cause has not been investigated."

The Tree Advice Trust (TAT) found: "Trees affected by the late spring frost (TDA 138) produced a new flush of growth and by early July appeared comparable with trees of the same species nearby that had not been affected by the frost. However, frost damaged trees have not produced any signs of a lammas flush. Where lammas shoots have developed the new leaves showed quite intense silvering and distortion associated with an attack of Oak Mildew (Erysiphe (Microsphaera) alphitoides)."

There appeared a higher than usual incidence of Dutch elm disease particularly on the many sucker shoots of English elm (Ulmus procera).

After significant dieback of Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’ in south east England during 2008, and to a lesser extent in the Midlands in 2009 symptoms appeared to be largely absent in 2010.

Symptoms of Horse chestnut leaf miner (Cameraria ohridella) appeared slowly and affected trees are now showing very extensive browning of leaves. Trees that produced a lammas flush have not been reported to be showing any symptoms of leaf miner damage on those second flush leaves suggesting that perhaps emerging adults had not mated and laid eggs. TAT would welcome reports and specimens of leaf mining on lammas leaves.

The Tree Advice Trust report found that trees, shrubs and hedges clothed with webbing in spring caused by caterpillars of Ermine moths (Yponomeuta species) have been locally common, and the effects more spectacular than for many years. But it said while this is unsightly and leads to intensive, and sometimes extensive defoliation of the host plant(s), from TAT observations this damage has been largely subsumed by new growth.

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