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Thionville. Victims of a bacterium, chestnut trees of the Liberation condemned

After bark beetles, which are decimating populations of conifers, and processionary caterpillars which ravage oak forests, a new disease is arriving in our latitudes: bacterial canker. This serious and contagious disease strikes chestnut trees, which are particularly present in cities.

In Thionville, the specimens from the Allée de la Liberation had been under surveillance for some time. The sentence has just fallen: “The canker affects several trees, some of which are not that old. We can see it very well: the trunks appear weakened, the bark cracks, the branches and leaves are withering away, ”says environmental assistant Patricia Renaux.

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Ultimately, the threat of the tallest branches, or even trunks, breaking off is taken very seriously. “We will be forced to cut down the chestnut trees most affected very quickly. The others will be able to be satisfied with a pruning, while waiting… ”, continues the deputy mayor.

An expected report

The most damning finding is rather in the central part of the Allée de la Liberation. According to the ONF, there is even an emergency to draw the chainsaw, some trees are already at an advanced stage of the disease.

“We give ourselves one to two months to intervene. Warning tape has already been laid to inform motorists of the potential danger. Wind, storms and bad weather in general can cause weakened branches to bend. We can not take the risk of an accident: a fall on a car or worse a pedestrian or a cyclist ”, continues the elected.

For the moment, it is difficult to accurately assess the extent of the damage. The ONF inspection ends this week; the detailed report and recommendations are expected soon.

At a time when the city wants to gain green spaces, this bad news is bad. “Of course, we will replant, but perhaps more spaced, in order to avoid the blows of the car bumpers”. Indeed, the slightest injury is a gateway for the bacteria.

No treatment

The bacterial canker appeared a few years ago in north-western Europe. This bacteria colonizes the tissues of the wood and causes the rapid death of the tree. Weeping is observed in the trunk, accompanied by cracking of the bark and general dieback.

At present, there is no means of treatment for this disease which is spreading slowly towards the Loire Valley, after having contaminated the north of France.

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