Plant-Lore

Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Nordmann fir threatened

2014-12-09 14.31.21According to the Mail on Sunday, 18 November 2012, Nordmann firs grown for Christmas trees are being attacked by a mysterious disease which causes them to shed all of their their needles.
In recent years Nordmann fir (Abies nordmanniana) has become ‘Britain’s favourite Christmas tree, found in five million homes and much loved because the needles do not drop and make a mess’.
Hans Alexandersen, who grows 600,000 trees in Kent and Surrey, reports that hundreds of thousands of pounds’ worth of trees have been devastated, and some other growers have reported losing a third of their stock.
The condition – current season needle necrosis – is associated with the fungus Sydowia polyspora which has been known for 30 years:
‘We used to see trees lose their leaves after strong sunshine … annoying but not serious. But it has gone from benign to aggressive, and we are trying to find out why.’

Image:┬áNordmann fir Christmas trees on sale, Neal’s Nurseries, Heathfield Road, London Borough of Wandsworth; 9 December 2014.

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