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Sweet chestnut blight, Virginia, USA

Sweet chestnut blight, Virginia, USA

C017/8462

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Credit

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Sweet chestnut blight, Virginia, USA. Forest of American sweet chestnut trees (Castanea dentata) that has been devastated by the fungus Cryphonectria parasitica, the cause of sweet chestnut blight. The fungus attacks the bark, killing the tissue, and causing all of the foliage above the infection site to wilt and die. Infection can be chronic and can eventually be lethal, especially in young trees. This disease wiped out the American chestnut population of the eastern USA in the early 20th century. The disease has been known in continental Europe since 1938, and was first confirmed in the UK in 2011. It is feared that the spread of the disease may affect millions of sweet chestnut trees in the UK's woodlands.

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