INSECTS have been labelled as the reason behind Malvern’s horse chestnut trees turning brown earlier than normal this year.
The Malvern Hills Trust, formerly the Conservators, revealed the trees had been subject to attacks by the horse chestnut leaf miner.
The larvae of the moth Cameraria ohridella mine within the leaf of the tree and cause it to brown and shrivel.
Although this damage affects the appearance of the tree and may have a small effect on the number of conkers the tree produces, the pest does not impair the overall health of the tree.
A horse chestnut leaf miner was first recorded in the UK in 2002 and has since spread across the whole of England and as far north as Scotland.
Due to the high mobility of this species and the speed and distance of its spread there are no effective methods of control.
A Malvern Hills Trust spokesperson said: “As part of our tree safety programme we will continue to monitor the health of all roadside trees and trees near to properties under our jurisdiction.
“If any trees are identified to have defects or diseases which could lead to tree fall, work will be done to minimise the risk.