Posted: 18/02/2012 at 17:50
The climate is changing and we are travelling. Scary how we now see the impacts around us in such weird ways, but the reality is that every time we travel there is a chance that a fungus or a mould spore or perhaps a Colorado beetle will be travelling with us.
Now that the winters are wetter - or should that be drier - and the summers are hotter (or colder?) our trees and shrubs are getting stressed and that makes them much much more susceptible to whatever little beastie has recently come to visit.
None of this is good news but Natural England decided that the best way to combat climate change is to concentrate on decent biodiversity and resilience - which for gardeners means growing from seeds rather than always clones, and looking after the soil.
I definitely do the latter, but how many of us grow trees from seeds? No wonder Leylandiis are susceptible. There is just one type and no diversity at all.
Once a disease has breached its defences a modern hedge is just a free lunch, so perhaps if a new hedge is to be started it it would be better to start from hips and haws?