max temp: 16°C

min temp: 13°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk: Future of Christmas tree safe as experts rule out link between fir fungus and dieback

17:13 22 November 2012

Harry Brightwell of Fynn Valley Farm, Tuddenham St Martin, who has just become the secretary for the British Christmas Tree Growers Association

Harry Brightwell of Fynn Valley Farm, Tuddenham St Martin, who has just become the secretary for the British Christmas Tree Growers Association


GROWERS in Suffolk are urging people not to confuse a mysterious fungal condition affecting fir trees with the devastating ash dieback disease.


Fears have emerged that the condition known as current season needle necrosis or CSNN – which makes the needles of Nordmann fir trees turn brown and drop off – could jeopardise the future of the Christmas tree as Britain’s favourite festive decoration.

About 150 members of the British Christmas Tree Growers Associations reported their stock had been affected, with all of the cases in the east and south of England. But the association’s Harry Brightwell, from Tuddenham St Martin near Ipswich, said the disease did not act in the same way as the deadly chalara fraxinea ash dieback disease, and that the situation was nowhere near as concerning.

He said: “People are trying to link the two diseases and there’s no link there at all. CSNN has only affected between 1% and 3% of trees in the UK so far.

“However, as an association we have developed a strategy for dealing with CSNN and we are currently involved in trials to help combat it.”

Mr Brightwell said the public should be reassured when buying a Christmas tree this year, adding: “If a tree has needle necrosis, it will be going brown in August so it will not have been harvested.

“From the consumers’ point of view, if a tree looks green and healthy then it hasn’t got the disease.”

Adviser to the association, Colin Palmer, is heading a field trial aimed at tracing the progress of the disease.

He said: “The difference between ash dieback and CSNN is that all fir trees are young, which gives us an opportunity to resolve the problem, where it would be impossible to sort out a 100-year-old ash tree.”



The large scale police operation in Potash Road, Wyverstone.

A Suffolk police officer whose enquiries led to the discovery of more than 400 firearms - one of the biggest weapon finds the UK has ever seen - is set to be recognised.

Bury Magistrates' Court

Shutting Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court will have a “shocking” impact on access to justice in west Suffolk, leaving public transport journeys 245% more expensive on average.

Pair claimed a neighbour in Wellington Street, Ipswich had a gun

A couple who sparked a full-scale armed police response over gun claims must pay £1,000 compensation to Suffolk Constabulary.

Framlingham from above. Aerial photo by Mike Page.

A revised housing bid from Persimmon Homes for a site off Mount Pleasant in Framlingham has again been recommended for approval.

Prime Minister David Cameron in his hotel room as he prepares his conference speech that he will deliver to his party's annual conference at Manchester Central tomorrow. Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Prime minister David Cameron will label his tenure the “turnaround decade” when he addresses his party faithful today.

The new electronic road sign in Rushmere

A new set of electronic traffic signs have been posted around Ipswich to help warn motorists of delays, roadworks and other essential travel information.


Sites for more than 1,000 new homes on the Felixstowe peninsula have at last been revealed – with farmers’ fields set to disappear to make way for the growth of the resort.

Liz Truss, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs addresses the Conservative Party conference in Manchester. Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Environment secretary Elizabeth Truss has warned Labour’s proposals for the environment and countryside are “fundamentally backward, dangerous and wrong”.

Vicky Ford

Prime minister David Cameron will get an agreement over ever-closer union, an exemption from the eurozone and a package on migration ahead of a referendum before 2017, one of the region’s Euro MPs has claimed.

Home Secretary Theresa May delivers her speech to the Conservative Party conference at Manchester Central. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 6, 2015. See PA story TORY Main. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Theresa May faced an angry backlash from business leaders, charities and political opponents as she announced a sharp tightening of rules for asylum and immigration.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages