Sunday, October 30, 2011


The clocks have gone back today, and I am watching the poor horse chestnut trees across the road shed their leaves. Some years it seems to happen over a weekend, they suddenly shift all their leaves quickly. Other years, this year, it's a long drawn out affair, a few leaves flutter down every few minutes. A bird alights on a branch and a leaf floats off. The wind... well you get the picture.

The trees are suffering some sort of blight anyway, looking ready to drop from the middle of the summer. There is some confusion about whether this is a fungus, a bacterium or the fault of a moth. It seems that the leaf miner moth weakens tree but does not kill them, the fungus is a blight in the USA, but the thing which is killing the trees in the UK is the bacterium which causes bleeding canker.

Those across the way from me look to be fighting the infection, as they are still producing viable conkers, but many trees have already become so dangerous to the public that they have had to be cut down.

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