Caterpillars and mildew responsible for poor health of Wanstead Park’s oak trees

tree1©Richard Arnopp

Following concerns expressed on social media over the health of the oak trees in Wanstead Park, the Friends of Wanstead Parklands asked Epping Forest for its take on the well-being of these iconic trees.

“This year, winter moth caterpillar numbers were very high. Many oaks were completely stripped of their spring leaf emergence. Most oaks we have been observing recovered well. However, this later regrowth – which did not get going until mid-June – is highly susceptible to mildew, which has also been more prevalent than in recent years. We suspect the Wanstead Park oaks are looking poor due to this defoliation-mildew combination. In future, we are likely to have more fluctuations in annual vitality as climate change exerts a greater influence on our seasons,” said an Epping Forest spokesperson.