Cultural Practices

Pruning and timely removal of infested branches and trees can be an effective method of preventing the spread of pests and diseases. That proved to be particularly true in the control of Dutch Elm Disease in Europe and North America. Systematic removal and burning of any potential breeding material for elm bark beetles was one of the most effective control measures. A similar approach directed at removal and composting of fallen leaves is presently developed in Europe to limit population growth and spreading of Cameraria ohridella (Marx 1997). For canker stain of plane trees, the only possible strategy is sanitation. In Italy, a decree settles the compulsory control measures: attacked or dead trees and healthy ones beside them have to be felled. When cutting, infected timber, sawdust and wood chips must be collected and eliminated. All living stumps must be removed or killed.

The control of plane tree anthracnose at present is basically restricted to prevention, using cultural methods such as pruning of dead branches and collection of fallen leaves (Intini et al. 2000). Among the possible control methods in already established plantations sanitary pruning offers the most promising results. It aims to reduce the amount of inoculum of the fungus and to limit future outbreaks of the disease. The disease is not eliminated and the treatment needs to be repeated, but the appearance of the tree is healthy and disease severity is kept at a low level (Tello et al. 2000).

There are many species-specific products available for attraction of bark beetles, moths and sawflies. Synthetic pheromones imitating sex pheromones of insects are widely used in forestry, mainly for monitoring purposes, but in combination with a variety of traps, pheromones can also serve as a control tool, especially if the pest population is highly dispersed. Most commonly used in urban forests are pheromone traps for oak and pine tortrix moths (Tortrix viridana, Rhyacionia buoliana) and bark beetles (Trypodendron spp., Tomicus piniperda, Pityogenes chalcographus).

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