New infection threatens UK oaks

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British garden and greenhouse fans may be concerned by the news that an iconic tree species could be under threat from a new infection.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) recently revealed that experts are worried that acute oak decline could permanently alter the British landscape, thanks to its ability to kill an English oak within five years.

Discovered 13 years ago, the disease attacks the tree from the inside, causing it to bleed a dark fluid through the bark and the canopy to thin.

Eventually, large branches begin to die off, before the entire tree succumbs to the infection and perishes.

While scientists have been baffled as to how the disease occurs, they recently isolated a bacterium that appears to be the main cause of the problem.

It is hoped that the discovery could lead to a reversal of the trend, which is threatening to wipe out the popular species.

Meanwhile, an RHS expert recently saved the world's smallest water lily from extinction.

Posted by Martin Corby   - 04 June 2010
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New infection threatens UK oaks

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