Cham, 09.01.2020

Trees damaged by a fungus and insects

For some time now, ash trees have been threatened with extinction across Switzerland, and even across the whole of Europe, due to an aggressive mushroom from East Asia - the "False White Stem Cup". The fungus pathogen leads to ash extinction, or the so-called ‘ash wilt’. The mushroom has been causing damage in the Canton of Zug since 2009, according to a media release from the Cham municipality. Unfortunately, infested ash trees have now also been found in the Cham municipality, along the Obermühlestrasse, in the past few weeks.

In agreement with the cantonal forester, the affected trees will have to be felled. “Depending on their location, heavily infested ash trees have to be removed, because they pose a safety risk due to falling branches,” explains Markus Schuler, head of horticulture in the Cham municipality. Trees that have been infested at the base of the trunk could also lose their stability and fall over in the wind. “Although it is a great shame to have to fell the trees, this is necessary. We are therefore delighted that we are able to undertake alternative plantings and that valuable young trees can then take root.”

Markus Schuler, Head of Horticulture, shows a willow borer found near the chestnut tree in the Hirsgarten.

Other trees in the municipality also have to be felled due to other fungal infestations. These include a beech tree that stands in the wood near the Lorzenpark and is infested with the so-called ‘crust fungus’, which leads to the death of the tree. A robinia (locust tree) in the Röhrliberg is infected by the Hallimasch fungus, and a further robinia in the Kirchenplatz will also be felled because of this fungal attack.

A walnut in the Hirsgarten and in Kirchbühl, as well as a larch in the Lorzenpark have also died of old age, and present a safety risk. The red-flowering chestnut tree in the Hirsgarten must also be felled. The tree has fallen victim to the willow borer (Cossus Cossus), according to the announcement. This species of butterfly lays eggs in the bark at the base of the tree. The resultant caterpillars or wood borers then bite their way into the tree or eat away the entire bark, the cambium. Substitute plantings are also planned for these trees. There will also be new plantings in connection with the new urn alcove wall in the Cham cemetery, as well as the additional planting of young trees in the municipal properties, including in the lido, the Städtler Allmend, Kleineslen, the Eichstrasse and the Wildibach.