phone-call
Emergency
Call out

What a bleeder! Bleeding Canker of Horse Chestnut

Bleeding Canker of Horse Chestnut (Pseudomonas syringae pathovar aesculi) is a disease that hugely affects Horse Chestnuts throughout Great Britain.

How do I know if my Horse Chestnut tree is suffering with Bleeding Canker?

Bleeding Canker is usually identifiable by bark cracks, cankers/ lesions located on the stems and branches of a Horse Chestnut. Dark fluid will ooze from the cankers seemingly making the Horse Chestnut to appear like it’s bleeding. The colour of the fluid will vary from season to season. During the spring, the fluid will be a darker red to almost black in colour and almost transparent, whereas in the summer months it turns into an almost rusty-like opaque colour. In Autumnal months, renewed bleeding to that of Spring time may occur. 

If bleeding appears to continue over several months, it may cause the centre of the affected patch of bark to crack, which’ll allow for other fruiting bodies to become active within the decaying wood. If a Horse Chestnut has been suffering with Bleeding Canker for many years, then this may start to reflect within the overall condition of the crown. The areas of dead cambium and phloem beneath the cankers will coalesce and extend the entire branch/ stem (whichever has been affected). Furthermore, symptoms of trees suffering with Pseudomonas syringae pv. Aesculi will begin to show in the crown; for example premature leaf drop, the consistency of yellowing foliage and dieback within the crown. 

Can Bleeding Canker kill my Horse Chestnut tree?

It has been found that over a period of time, the bacterium, Pseudomonas syringae pv. Aesculi, can cause death within Horse Chestnut trees. However, Horse Chestnuts can also recover from the infection with some specimens also appearing to be resistant to the bacterium itself. 

What is the best way to manage infected tree stock?

If a site you manage has a significant amount of Horse Chestnuts infected with Bleeding Canker, it is recommended a survey is carried out in order to assess the number of affected trees that are located on site. Recorded on the survey should be: the total number of Horse Chestnut trees on site, mapped locations of the trees, the number of affected trees with Bleeding Canker, extent of symptoms shown (e.g. how many lesions/ cankers currently present, crown symptoms etc.) and photographs. 

Your next steps should be to contact a trusted tree surgeon. Our team is trained in spotting these signs of bleeding canker and can help you with the next steps. 

landscape peaks banner

Very impressed with Dr Stump; quick, professional, courteous, tidy and VERY good at what they do! – Very impressed with the way they work and the amount they can get done in a short time. – Highly recommended.

Paul Hallatt

Really good company, very reliable, came and removed quite a few stumps from our woodland very quickly and efficiently, and careful about not doing damage to the surrounding area. Highly recommended, we will use them again.

Jane Polden

I would recommend this company to anyone they have just taken 7 large poplar trees down for us. Arrived as arranged, a pleasure to have in our garden for several days, then left the site neat and tidy.

Mia Potter

A great company and excellent service, they were brilliant from quote to completion and would definitely use again!

Nathan Modlin

Get a quote