Chestnut Tree: Detect and combat diseases and pests

The Content Of The Article:

Chestnuts, whether horse chestnut or sweet chestnut, are quite delicate trees. It is therefore all the more important to detect and combat diseases and pests at an early stage.

Chestnut Tree: Detect and combat diseases and pests

Chestnut trees are imposing and of a great natural beauty. Due to their size, their wonderful colored flowers and their suitability as excellent shade donors, chestnuts are often found in beer gardens, in parks and on public meadows. For the native gardens, the chestnut, however, is only suitable to a limited extent, as it reaches a height of up to 35 meters, which does not want to fit into a small garden or even a front garden. Since the chestnut is a Flachwurzler, it should not be planted too close to the house, at garages or on the street. The crown also needs a bit of space, so chestnuts do not tolerate the competition of other trees in their immediate vicinity. And yet, if you have a plot of sufficient size to ponder the planting of a chestnut - the shade in summer, the brown autumn fruits that you can use to craft and make decorations, and the blaze of spring blossoms Surely quickly convince of the benefits of this tree.

But as with any crop, the chestnut needs a certain amount of care and protection against diseases and pests. For example, if you trim the chestnut, it is important to follow the necessary precautions and instructions so that the interfaces can not be affected by disease or pests.

Facts and figures about the chestnut

The chestnut comes originally from the southern Mediterranean and the Balkan Peninsula, but was native to Central Europe in the Middle Ages. There are two types, the horse chestnut and the sweet chestnut, of which there are several hundred subspecies each. The chestnut can grow up to 35 meters high - even smaller subspecies usually reach a height of at least 10 meters. Horse chestnut trees can even live for several hundred years and reach a trunk diameter of more than 1 meter. As a deciduous tree, the chestnut provides a lot of shade in summer. The flowers of the chestnut are white or red - marvel at crosses between the species sometimes in different shades of pink.

Despite their size and grandeur, chestnut trees are very susceptible to diseases and pests if treated incorrectly.

The most common pests at a glance

Chestnuts attacked by pests are often severely weakened during infestation. Here it can meet trees of any age. If you discover that your pest has pests at work, you should respond as soon as possible. Although threatened not an immediate or rapid dying of the tree, but the chestnut loses a lot of its elegance by the pest infestation and gradually, the weakening of the tree is also noticeable in lack of stability. Here are the most dangerous pests for chestnut trees at a glance:

❍ The horse chestnut leafminer:

Especially the White Horse Chestnut has to suffer extremely under the Minier Moth, a small butterfly species with a feathery rump and a size of barely half a centimeter. First signs are brownish discoloration on the leaves of the chestnut immediately after flowering. These are caused by the Junglarve of Miniermotte. This pest infestation occurred in Austria for the first time in 1989 - since then the moths in Europe have continued to spread. On average, about 100 kilometers per year in each direction.

For some time after the first infestation of the tree, large parts of the foliage are brown and the leaves fall much too early. As a result, the chestnut no longer has the opportunity to carry out vital photosynthesis for the tree - the chestnut is considerably weakened, which can even lead to the death of the whole tree in case of long-lasting infestation. A sign of a particularly strong weakening of the tree is a second bloom, which then begins in August or September. The severely weakened tree thus loses a lot of power.

βž” Control:

There are a number of means of combating chestnut leafminers, but none of them are authorized in Germany. Too aggressive are the chemical agents in the insecticides that are really suitable for eliminating the leafminer and the damage to the rest of the environment is too great. And yet you can do something about the miner moth. If your tree is infested in the first year, you should immediately pick up the fallen leaves and burn them so that the larvae can not survive.

Natural enemies of miner moths are incidentally birds of all kinds.So make your garden interesting for birds - the more birds that stay in your garden and go in search of food, the greater the chance that the miniature moth in your garden will be missing next year. Here is a reading tip: attracting birds - How to get moody chirping in the garden.

Ess The chestnut drill:

The chestnut drill is a weevil whose females lay larvae on the fruit of the sweet chestnut. About 40 eggs are discarded - one egg on each one fruit. The larvae then eat in, wait for the chestnut to fall off and then eat out again where they dig into the ground and hibernate.

βž” Control:

The chestnut drill can cause great damage to the fruit population and even destroy more than half of all fruit on the tree if it is sufficiently infested. In order to avoid a growing infestation in the following years, you should absolutely collect the fruits of your sweet chestnut immediately after falling down and destroy the affected fruits, so that the larvae do not remain in your garden and fall in the following year even more sweet chestnut female growers over your tree.

❍ The early chestnut winder:

The early chestnut winder is again a butterfly. He lays his eggs on the leaves. After they hatch, the larvae start over the fruits. The drill through the pericarp and eat the fruits. Then it goes on to the next fruit. To get from fruit to fruit, they draw silky threads on which they then climb along. On these threads, the infestation can be seen quickly, but also on the early falling empty fruit shells. It is particularly problematic when the early chestnut winder, which like the chestnut drill attacks mainly the sweet chestnuts, pupates. Because this process takes place under the bark and leads again to a large damage to the stock. The more early chestnut worms have infested a tree, the greater the damage caused by pupating.

βž” Control:

Light, pheromone and fruit juice traps have proven to be good antidotes. There are some chemical remedies against the early chestnut winder, but here too, the use of these in Germany is not allowed. Lighter chemical insecticides can work - but the chances are relatively small.

❍ The late chestnut winder:

The late chestnut winder bears a lot of resemblance to his early namesake. However, the larvae hibernate here in the ground and thus cause less damage to the tree itself. They are more of a danger to the fruit content of the sweet chestnut and can greatly reduce the harvest. There are hardly any signs of an infestation, only the empty fruit shells that fall from the tree too early can serve as an indication.

βž” Control:

Since the larvae remain in some of these fruit shells, and then burrow into the ground, you should ensure that the hulls of infested fruits are immediately collected and destroyed. Otherwise, here too, the above-mentioned traps have proven to be an effective way of controlling. You should only use pesticides if they have really been approved to prevent permanent damage to the tree due to improper handling.

The most common diseases at a glance

As with many other trees, there are also diseases in the various varieties of chestnut that lead to a strong weakening of the tree. As a rule, a disease infestation is also accompanied by a fungal attack, since the chestnuts, which are weakened by the disease, do not have the necessary power to fend off the fungi. The result is a slow rottenness, sometimes from within.

A chestnut that is affected by an illness and that over several years, regularly loses its stability. The bigger the tree, the more likely you are to react in the worst case, so that instability can not make the tree dangerous to you, your house or the people in your neighborhood. In contrast to the pests, which occur more frequently in one or the other chestnut species, there are hardly any differences in the diseases between the species.

Kast The chestnut bark cancer:

The chestnut bark cancer is a fungal disease that was introduced from the USA. The spores of the fungi reach the tree through wounds in the bark and spread there. The first signs are yellow discoloration on the bark and sinking or swelling of the bark tissue. Later cracks in the bark and rapid dying of plant parts, which are above the affected areas. The chestnut bark cancer spreads quickly and, once it has attacked a tree, can also quickly attack trees in the immediate area, as it spreads through the air. For this reason, you should react at the first sign of infection.

βž” Control:

The only way to get rid of the chestnut bark cancer is a generous pruning of the affected areas except for the healthy wood. You should also regularly remove weakened branches with a cleansing incision, as weakened tree areas can quickly become infested with chestnut bark crayfish.

The best way to prevent this is to avoid unnecessary wounds on the tree and a regular and above all professional trimming of your chestnut. If you notice wounds on the tree, you should apply a finishing ointment or wound ointment to help the tree heal naturally. If they are not necessarily needed immediately due to fungal attack, tree trunks should always be taken in the cold season, as fungi do not thrive so well during this time and the risk of fungal attack in freshly cut areas is very low.

❍ The ink disease:

Again, this is a fungal infection. This disease is caused by Phytophthora species that invade the root, lead to leaf wilt and may even lead to death of the whole treetop. At the base of the tree then emerges ink-like liquid, which has given the disease its name. Especially trees that stand on moist soil can be attacked faster, because there are optimal conditions for the fungi.

βž” Control:

Direct treatment at the root is difficult. One chance is the generous distribution of chicken manure on the ground around the tree, as it can kill the fungus. Also exposing the roots and a subsequent treatment with chicken manure makes sense here. However, you should make sure that you avoid further root damage, otherwise the fungus has new ways to penetrate into the root. In general, that's the best way to prevent it.

If you notice root damage to your tree, such as roots sticking out of the ground, you should treat them as soon as possible with a suitable finishing ointment or a chestnut tree wound ointment.

❍ Bleeding chestnuts:

The phenomenon of bleeding chestnut was originally observed mainly in the Netherlands, but has meanwhile also arrived in Germany. The cause is a bacterial attack against which there are currently no really effective antidotes. You can detect the disease of your tree in wet and "bleeding" places on the bark of the main trunk or on individual branches. There is also a discoloration of the foliage and a browning and swelling of the bark around the weeping spot. Continuous infestation threatens the complete dying of the tree.

βž” Control:

Again, similar to the chestnut bark cancer, that only a generous pruning of infested areas except for the healthy wood can really help.

However, precaution is the best way to protect your tree. For example, before making a cut on your tree, you should disinfect the cutting tools to prevent bacteria from entering the tree wounds. Again, the use of appropriate finishing or closure ointments on open wounds prevents the tree from infiltrating bacteria at these sites. If you find an infestation, you should react quickly, because there is no means that reverses such an infestation, and a spread inevitably causes the tree to die completely or must be cut down already for safety reasons.


Effective control of diseases and pests is often difficult, because agents that are effective are not authorized and authorized agents can not promise a complete guarantee of their effectiveness against the pests and diseases. However, there are also a few conventional means of controlling diseases and pests. As a last resort, pruning is required to keep the rest of the tree from dying completely. However, it also shows that with proper care and treatment of the chestnut many diseases can be relatively easily avoided.

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