Clear leaves to save trees

While trees are still making the news and for all the right reasons, may I draw your attention to the very poor state of a great many horse chestnut trees, many of which may die.

It’s down to the leaf mining moth, which eats the leaves at such a rate that the tree’s ability to photosynthesise is severely reduced, meaning it can’t store all the fuel it needs to get through the winter.

If the horse chestnut then also falls victim to a bacteria known as bleeding canker, then the tree’s likely to die.

I understand the best way to prevent the moths destroying the trees is to clear up the old leaves from under the tree, with burning being the preferred method of disposal.

There are a number of horse chestnut trees along Stepney Road and indeed, throughout the Borough; kids and grownups alike can’t resists the beautiful, shiny brown conkers that drop in abundance every year. But if local people aren’t aware that by clearing up the old leaves they could be helping the trees survive, next year could very easily see the end of a centuries old tradition.

I’m hoping the council’s excellent Parks and Leisure Services Department’s already on the case.

I don’t expect the people who derided the actions of the Irton tree champions in such a disappointing and negative manner will be joining in.

Though I’d love to be proved wrong.

Mat Watkinson

Stepney Road