Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 11°C


Suffolk: Future of Christmas tree safe as experts rule out link between fir fungus and dieback

17:13 22 November 2012

Harry Brightwell of Fynn Valley Farm, Tuddenham St Martin, who has just become the secretary for the British Christmas Tree Growers Association

Harry Brightwell of Fynn Valley Farm, Tuddenham St Martin, who has just become the secretary for the British Christmas Tree Growers Association


GROWERS in Suffolk are urging people not to confuse a mysterious fungal condition affecting fir trees with the devastating ash dieback disease.


Fears have emerged that the condition known as current season needle necrosis or CSNN – which makes the needles of Nordmann fir trees turn brown and drop off – could jeopardise the future of the Christmas tree as Britain’s favourite festive decoration.

About 150 members of the British Christmas Tree Growers Associations reported their stock had been affected, with all of the cases in the east and south of England. But the association’s Harry Brightwell, from Tuddenham St Martin near Ipswich, said the disease did not act in the same way as the deadly chalara fraxinea ash dieback disease, and that the situation was nowhere near as concerning.

He said: “People are trying to link the two diseases and there’s no link there at all. CSNN has only affected between 1% and 3% of trees in the UK so far.

“However, as an association we have developed a strategy for dealing with CSNN and we are currently involved in trials to help combat it.”

Mr Brightwell said the public should be reassured when buying a Christmas tree this year, adding: “If a tree has needle necrosis, it will be going brown in August so it will not have been harvested.

“From the consumers’ point of view, if a tree looks green and healthy then it hasn’t got the disease.”

Adviser to the association, Colin Palmer, is heading a field trial aimed at tracing the progress of the disease.

He said: “The difference between ash dieback and CSNN is that all fir trees are young, which gives us an opportunity to resolve the problem, where it would be impossible to sort out a 100-year-old ash tree.”



Bea the cat is recovering well

A cat has been found collapsed on an Ipswich doorstep 10 days after suffering serious neck injuries caused by its own collar.

Crown Pools in Ipswich, where a man reportedly exposed himself on Saturday.

A man has reportedly twice exposed himself to girls in the changing rooms of an Ipswich swimming pool.

Police are investigating the robbery.

A man was assaulted and threatened during a robbery in Ipswich on Saturday night.

Heart FM DJ Dave Taylor during the charity busking session on the Cornhill in Ipswich where he was accompanied by his producer Nick mellamphy and students from Ipswich High School for Girls.

Heart FM breakfast DJ Dave Taylor took on a charity challenge with a difference this afternoon – learning to busk classic songs with the help of high school students.

Police have cordoned off an alleyway between Blanche Street and Christchurch Street in Ipswich after a man was stabbed.

Police are hunting for three men after a man was stabbed in the chest in Ipswich last night.

Abellio Greater Anglia

Trains running between Essex and Suffolk and the capital face delays, alterations and cancellations due to a defective piece of track at Harold Wood.

The crash happened on the A14 westbound between Stowmarket and Woolpit.

Motorists have escaped injury during two crashes on the A14 today.

Dan Poulter with employees at B&Q

A Suffolk MP has said he will do what he can to try and prevent a B&Q store closing down with the potential loss of around 100 jobs.

Julian King and Ian Lea talk about custom bikes at the Copdock Motorcycle Show.

There was something for all motorcycle enthusiasts at Trinity Park over the weekend as a popular event returned for its 24th year.

Urban caterer chef, Simon Daniels cooking the goumet burger at K Bar and Grill, St Nicholas Street, Ipswich.

We all love a good burger, so we’ve picked out some of our favourites from across Suffolk.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages