latest news
from and around West Chiltington

Asian Long Horned Beetle - local infestation!

(April 15, 2012)

The first infestation of the Asian Long Horned Beetle in this country was only recently  recorded in Paddock Wood, Kent.  This non-native species is a major threat to broadleafed woodland causing damage to trees such as Maple, Elm, Horse Chestnut, Willow, Poplar, Birch and even fruit trees.

Adult beetles are very distinctive.  They're large in size, black with variable white markings and antennae which are up to twice the body length.  More information can be found on the Forestry website - see link below.  If you think you've seen one of these beetles please notify FERA (Food & Environment Research Agency Plant Health Helpline) on 0844 248 0071  immediately.


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How do trees drink?
Trees are an intrinsic part of our countryside - they inspire us, provide us with valuable
oxygen, punctuate our countryside with texture and colour, they provide shade
for us and our animals and contribute to our economy.
When we think about trees 'drinking'  it's difficult to imagine but, like us, trees do react to things such as temperature changes, sunlight and even smells and do infact need to drink water, (well,  when I say drink it's not in the same way that we do of course) and like us trees require a steady flow of nutrients in order to survive.

Trees may not have any capability of  movement which enables them to shuffle over to the nearest stream to drink but beneath that knarled bark exterior they've evolved an
ingenious way of making the most out of the processes that take place beneath their exterior.  Namely, Transpiration.  This process works in conjunction
with the tree's need for water which literally enables it to 'drink'.  

Transpiration keeps trees cool in the summer and this process basically involves the evaporation of water from the trees leaves via tiny pores on their underside called stomata.
Hot summer temperatures or strong winds trigger the amount of water that evaporates from these tiny pores - the tree
itself can open or close these pores at will at regular intervals to release gasses.

As Transpiration takes place via the leaves in the canopy then this initiates water literally being 'drawn' up from the trees roots deep in the soil to the tips of its leaves to regulate moisture levels within the tree.