Killer fungus attacks UK Christmas trees


Killer fungus attacks UK Christmas treesPA

Britain's favourite non-drop Christmas tree, the Nordmann Fir, is being attacked by a mysterious fungus that causes the needles to drop off completely.

The condition, called current season needle necrosis (CSNN), cause needles to turn yellow in July, brown in August and then drop off completely. It has affected fir trees in the UK and Europe for 20 years, but was first noticed in Britain three years ago. It has since spread around the country.

The Daily Mail reports that one of Britain's biggest growers, H. A. Trim, which farms 600,000 of the tress in Kent and Surrey, have already lost hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of trees.

According to The Telegraph, relatively few trees have been hit this year. However, more than 150 growers have been affected, with the majority losing up to three per cent of their stock. Some others have reported that more than 15 per cent of their stock has been lost, while one farmer lost a third of his crop. As a result, there are fears that Christmas trees could be more expensive than usual this year. And, as no fungicide has yet been found to stop the disease, it could also affect future crops.

Harry Brightwell, secretary of the British Christmas Tree Growers Association, told The Telegraph: "We'd like to reassure people not to be concerned as they trees they purchase should stay green and healthy during the festive period."

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