Friday 01 December 2023
10:30 to 12:30
Friday December 1st at 10.30, and Parks will be planting our new, long awaited, indian horse chestnut saplings. Interestingly, this will be in National Tree Week. Come along and see our new trees, and let’s make an event of it. See you there.
Indian horse chestnut (Aesculus indica) has been selected for planting on Twickenham Green, this has been selected as an alternative to the common horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) which is an iconic and long standing feature of this open space. Sadly, a changing environment (specifically over the last 20 years) has brought about multiple threats and challenges for common horse chestnut, these include horse chestnut leaf miner (Camareria ohridella), horse chestnut bleeding canker (Pseudomonas syringae pv. aesculi) and climate change associated factors such as temperature extremes and drought. We are seeing an increasing number of declining chestnuts, especially where a combination of factors are at play which acts as a major tipping point for individual trees where they are simply overwhelmed and can no longer sustain themselves as a viable system. These challenges make establishing common horse chestnut very difficult, with many succumbing to bleeding canker and dying within a 5-15 year period. Indian horse chestnut is less susceptible to the pest and disease that is currently afflicting common horse chestnut and is therefore more likely to establish and continue the tradition of ‘conker trees’ on the green, with similar characteristics, such as spring flower chandeliers, value to wildlife (especially bees), conkers (albeit slightly smaller and with spike less husks) and a similar leaf shape and pattern.
Howard Roberts, Environment Officer, THE FRIENDS OF TWICKENHAM GREEN