Timing of pruning Plane trees questioned
Sometimes the only thing one can do is cross your fingers and hope. Only four days ago we wrote an article about the plight of the plane trees in this area which are gradually succumbing to an encroaching fungus. (article here) We published images of stricken plane trees being chopped down just below Barga on the road to Gallicano. In that article we wrote that just a very small wound is enough to allow the fungus to invade the plant tissue and start the infective process. The parasite can be invade the tree at various levels including on the main or secondary branches subject to frequent pruning. We also wrote that it was probably only a question of time before the fungus makes its way up the mountainside to Barga. This morning the plane trees on the Fosso just outside the main walls of Barga were pruned by workers for the Provincia of Lucca.
As bad luck would have it the wind this morning was coming from the South so there was possibly a very dangerous situation as the fungus can travel by air from the infected sawdust emanating from the chopped down trees further downwind in the valley and infect the newly pruned plane trees in Barga. Maybe the damp weather overnight could have kept the infected sawdust on the ground and the dangerous spores out of the air. Let's hope that the pruning of these trees just at this time has not put them at added risk from this deadly silent menace that is decimating the plane tree population in Tuscany.