Town and city landscapes are set to be the most blighted by tree diseases, as a high proportion of trees that are currently under threat or are likely to be so in the future are those planted in urban areas.

All are relatively new and invasive threats and include “devastating conditions” such as acute oak decline, chronic oak decline and bleeding canker of horse chestnut.

Acute oak decline already affects 50% of oaks in some English woods, while 70% of conker trees in England suffer from bleeding canker.

The exact causes of the diseases have not been identified by scientists but current thinking is that they are due to a combination of factors – fungal and insect damage, bacteria, and climate stress.