Tresco Rhododendrons Cleared To Avoid Deadly Tree Disease

Tresco Estate workers have been clearing areas of rhododendron at the north of the island, around Gimbles Porth, to prevent a devastating tree disease from taking effect.

Sudden Oak Death was discovered in the U.S in 1995 and has spread to Britain and Mike Nelhams, curator of the Abbey Gardens, says the disease likes to use rhododendron as a host.

The disease has the same devastating affects on oak trees that Dutch Elm Disease had on Elms on the mainland, with the pathogen producing spores carried by wind and rainwater.

The island has large forests of rhododendrons and Mike says these are being cleared as a precaution.

Mike says the island has been checked regularly and there is no sign of the disease here so far.