Please excuse the bad photo, but I think it does go to show just how badly our Chestnut trees are being affected by this dreadful insect; Cynips.
Almost every young bit of growth has a 'gall' made by this tiny Wasp, and it's killing the trees.
I cannot stress firmly enough the significance of the Chestnut tree to this area. Obviously it bears the nuts themselves, but also the wood is used for parquet flooring, house heating, and tannin extraction, and without the trees we would have no Cèpes (Bolitus edulis). The Chestnut tree means an awful lot to an awful lot of people.
Trials are taking place of introducing other insects to attack Cynips, but by the look of the above, they don't seem to be making much inroad.
A very depressing prospect.
That is terrible for the chestnut. I do hope something can be found and fast to stop the wasp.ReplyDelete
It really is a disaster, it's like Greece losing her Olive trees.Delete
Such sad and terrible news. I love chestnuts and had hoped the trees in your area would be safe.ReplyDelete
We are still hoping, but I think it'll all be in vain. The infestation is far worse this year.Delete
We lost the American Chestnut Tree over a century ago to a blight and still botanists have not been able to bring it back (except for hybrids). Because of its strength, it was the tree of choice in building homes amongst other things.ReplyDelete
Cro, I hope there is something that can be done to stop this wasp from destroying all your beautiful Chestnut trees before it is too late.
It will be a very different place if they can't halt it. The total character would go.Delete
It is always so sad how helpless we are against nature.ReplyDelete
Whilst I agree with your statement, Yael, the reverse of the coin is that nature is helpless in the face of what man does to our habitat.Delete
How utterly depressing, there has to be a solution.ReplyDelete
So far the solution has simply been 'crossing our fingers'.Delete
As we have said before here, they are working on it. I suspect it is like most things that invade, the powers that be have let the invader get its own way for too long and at the end of the day the solution will be vetoed by someone who says it is will polute the planet in any case.ReplyDelete
The solution I am talking about being a spray and the polute I mean is pollute and the someone is an EU bureaucrat.Delete
Bit of a frost here this morning; maybe they'll freeze to death!Delete
I hope a solution is found because the same thing is happening here.ReplyDelete
Greetings Maria x
Italy and France are the two major Chestnut producing countries. It's a worry, isn't it.Delete
Worrying isn't it? Local producers are still planting brand new trees round here though, they must be hopeful of preventing the wasp.ReplyDelete
Yes, there are a lot of new plantings around; it doesn't seem to make sense. I have sprayed my recently planted trees with Tar Oil, hoping that the smell might put them off.Delete
This is why biosecurity at border controls matter. As an Australian, a country that does take it seriously, I'm always horrified at how casually some people ignore these things. They think their individual actions are not a threat.ReplyDelete
Here in Europe we have no oceans between countries, and flying insects don't respect boundaries. In Oz it's a very different matter, where everything coming in can be checked.Delete
Even so, it doesn't stop insects or other nasties arriving by boat or plane.
I remember how devastating it was for the local countryside in the UK when Dutch Elm Disease wiped out all the Elm trees. There was a lot of dead trees around, which was sad to see. I do hope that the Chestnuts can be saved.ReplyDelete
The great Perigord 'Châtaigneraie' stretches from here in the extreme south of the department, to well above Nontron in the north. It's a huge area that could well be devastated. Not a good prospect.Delete
Commiserations, Cro. It's awful to watch decimation.ReplyDelete
The first time I mourned a tree was when a storm took down my apple tree (!). I was about eleven or so. I say "mine" because it was on a little plot my father had allocated to me to grow what I wanted. Obviously, your plight isn't comparable to that of the child I was; still, your post reminded me of that most lovely canopy suddenly gone. I was heartbroken.
My next door neighbour recently pulled out a highly productive Cox's Apple tree for no reason. I felt much the same.Delete
Dutch elm was a disaster, now we have ash die back. Apparently the ash disease comes from Asia where the oriental ash trees are resistant, but when people wanted exotic foliage for the garden they imported the disease as well. When you look at the damage caused by Japanese knot weed it makes you wonder whether Victorian and more recent plant hunters were really such a good idea.ReplyDelete
Do you have knot weed in France or is it just stuck in the uk?
I haven't seen any around here, but I used to see the wretched stuff back in the UK. A real pain.Delete
Last night's frost has nipped some of my better vines, and some of the upper Fig leaves. I hope it hasn't affected the fruit trees.ReplyDelete
What a shame! I hope they find a cure but we Aussies know from experience that biological " cures " need to be very carefully managed as they can have dire results if they go wrong or get out of control.ReplyDelete
You're right, they can start their own problem later on.Delete
I've seen my trees make comebacks from the edge of disaster you wouldn't believe. I just let them get on with it. It seems that my poor years are followed by bountiful years.ReplyDelete
I hope you're right. I believe huge areas of Italy are already devoid of Chestnut trees. I think 'crossing one's fingers' is as good as cure as anything!Delete
In Italy they've probably killed all the good bugs, the ones that feed on the pests, with their enthusiasm for crop spraying.Delete
So disheartening Cro.ReplyDelete