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Cryphonectria parasitica (Sweet Chestnut blight)

Cryphonectria parasitica  (Sweet Chestnut blight)

This pathogenic fungus is the main cause of sweet chestnut blight. It has destroyed all of America’s chestnut forests, killing an estimated 3.5 million trees and is widespread in Europe.  Two cases were originally reported in the UK, in Warwickshire and Sussex in 2011, most likely the result of infected saplings imported from France in 2006-7.  Further investigations reveal more infections in Devon, Dorset, Berkshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and East London.  These are the result of a number of now-untraceable deliveries of infected saplings by a nursery in Devon.  This is another major future threat – especially to a thriving chestnut industry in Kent and Sussex and is largely unreported.