These two collections of hips are to be found just before you reach my path up to Hampstead Lane. I think they are both wild roses, but I they look rather different. Or maybe the bottom one is just not as healthy? Will Emma be able to tell us?…..
A little further up toward the path is that magnificent horse chestnut whose candelabra were so profuse back in May. But sadly, its leaves are now very brown and curled – and that does not look like just autumn.
I have just spent some time combing Google to find out what might be causing the leaf curl and I am suspecting the Leaf Miner Moth (Cameraria ohridella) although I must admit that it looks rather different from the pictures on the Forest Research site. But it obviously isn’t any of the alarming other diseases that Forest Research suggests (Guignardia leaf blotch, Wood rotting fungi, Dead and drooping shoots or Horse chestnut scale) so I presume it must be. The leaf Miner Moth arrived in the UK early this century and doesn’t seem to be going away. But least it does not do any permanent damage to the tree although it can, apparently, knock its annual calendar somewhat out of kilter so it may not flower and fruit the following year when it should.
However, the horse chestnuts seem to be rather better off that American chestnuts which, according to the Chestnut Growers Guide to Pests and Diseases, can suffer from a truly alarming series of infestations and predations: the Asian chestnut gall wasp, the Japanese beetle, periodical cicadas, Ambrosia beetles, weevils, sucking insects, the Gypsy moth, Chestnut blight, Ink Disease or root rot and deer browse….
But back to the ‘healthy’ autumn leaves that are carpeting the woodland on either side of my ‘home’ path. These look perfectly normal!
What does not look very normal or healthy is the really sad withered blackberries which share the space with the wild roses. I remember posting an image a few months ago of very small hard berries which did not look as though they had much future (not enough rain earlier in the season?) – and it would seem that they definitely didn’t…