Unfortunately, within the next 15 years, 2 million Horse Chestnut trees could be wiped out in the UK, destroying the entire population of this tree in the UK. This is due to ravaging of moths and a tree disease spreading throughout Europe.
Research shows that many Chestnut trees are filled with pests and diseases and many forest fires have wiped out a large number of them. The moths came to Southern England around 13 years ago and they have been wrecking the UK’s population of Chestnuts since 2006.
Researchers tested the Chestnut trees survival skills and planted some trees that had been germinated and within three years the majority had died and by year five all of them had been wiped out. It turned out that the majority of the trees had been destroyed by moths and caterpillars.
In addition, if chestnut trees were to be wiped out, then the UK Conker Championships would be destroyed, which means the amazing prize of £400,000 wouldn’t be on offer.
“It’s a bit of a concern but I think one of the biggest concerns is the human reaction to it. We’re quite keen to cut the trees down because they represent a bit of a danger to people with branches dropping off once the trees become ill,” says John Burkett, one of the conker championship’s organisers.