Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner Trap treatment available now
Posted on: April 24th, 2017
Over the last ten years, the leaf miner (Cameraria Ohridella) has become a real problem for Horse Chestnuts, particularly in Southern England. Having rapidly spread across Europe, this moth arrived in Southern Britain in 2002, and has infected large areas of Horse Chestnuts as it spreads north.
When infested, this quintessentially English tree (it may have been introduced to the UK from Turkey in the 1600s but you can't argue with a game of conkers!) can be severely damaged as adult moths lay hundreds of eggs that then turn into caterpillars. These caterpillars then burrow into the tree's leaves, feeding on the inner tissues. This causes them to dry up and turn brown and fall earlier then they should.
As well as leaving the tree looking like autumn has come early, it can also mean poor germination and a reduction in the size of the tree's conkers. Further research is ongoing but there it does appear as if Horse Chestnuts affected by this pest could be weakened and therefore vulnerable to affects of pathogens.
However, there is a solution. There is now a trap that uses a a powerful pheromone to lure and catch adult male Horse Chestnut Leaf Miners in huge numbers where they then fall into water at the bottom of the trap and perish. The Horse Chestnut miner trap drastically reduces the male leaf miner population, leaving female moths unfertilised, which results in fewer eggs hatching on the tree's leaves.
The trap doesn't completely control the Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner infestation but by using it over several seasons, it drastically reduces the damage these pests cause.
Prince Tree Surgery is now offering an annual treatment to combat the damage leaf miners can cause to Horse Chestnuts.
Our pheromone treatment comprises of hanging a trap in early spring and replenishing it a further two times between April and August. The timing is important because the Horse Chestnut leaf miner can lay hundreds of eggs on each leaf between the months of April and August.
Visit one in April/May would consist of installing the Horse Chestnut miner trap and loading it with pheromone. During visits two and three between May and August, we would replenish the pheromone, whilst visit four in September would be to remove the trap, clean it and store it for the following year.
The price of annual treatment is £180 plus VAT. This includes all equipment, installation by the Prince Tree Surgery team, any maintenance, removal, cleaning and storage for the following year.
We have seen some fantastic results with our pheromone treatment and our customers are certainly happy at the prospect at being able to continue collecting large conkers from their Horse Chestnuts for many years to come!