It’s an oak-less cause, or is it…


One of the most valuable native trees in our country is the English oak (Quercus robur). It provides an incredible number of benefits and needs for our society and our environment. As an environmental practice we seek to get as many of these integrated into our schemes as possible, although this can only occur in a sustainable location, as these are very large trees.


Oak (Quercus robur)

However, there is a problem – the oak processionary moth (OPM). This moth has been affecting our oak trees and is now affecting the nurseries supply of oak trees making it difficult to be able to supply these. This could have incredibly damaging long-term effects on our environment. There are no perfect alternatives, with many of our native trees suffering from well-known viruses and predators, such as the elm (Dutch elm disease) and the ash (ash dieback).

OPM caterpillar

Oak processionary caterpillars

To seek an appropriate alternative, you would have to consider the more localised landscape character of the area. Small leaved limes (Tilia cordata) or beech (Fagus sylvatica) would often be suitable alternatives, but not appropriate for all localities. At ACD we would seek to identify appropriate alternatives for consideration in every scheme to achieve the most sustainable landscape we can deliver.

Oak processionary moth

Oak Processionary (Thaumetopoea processionea), Ben Sale from UK, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons