Mon, Dec 09, 2019 - Page 9 News List

‘Summer-night fireworks’ trees in fight for life
害蟲入侵賞花秘境 宜蘭搶救夏夜「煙火」

The Barringtonia racemose of Yilan County’s Wujie Township.
宜蘭縣五結鄉的穗花棋盤腳。

Photo courtesy of Shih Shih-min
照片:石世民提供

The Barringtonia racemose (Small-leaved Barringtonia) of Yilan County’s Wujie Township is known as the “summer-night fireworks,” but recently it has been ravaged by pests, with many of the trees stripped almost bare, leaving the scenery sparse and in need of emergency treatment. After the county’s Arboriculture and Landscape Management Office inspected the sorry scene, it determined the problem was the work of the Selepa celtis moth, and that it made sense to treat the trees even though much of the damage had already been done, to avoid the spreading of the epidemic.

The plants blossom in May or June every year, with white or pink flowers that open only at night. Under the lights of the lamps along the road the flowers resemble flames, which is where they get their name for being like fireworks in the summer evening.

Recently, visitors to the area have been noticing that the leaves of the Barringtonia trees have been attacked by pests. The problem shows no signs of abating and, having received messages from members of the public, County Councilor Chien Sung-shu visited the management office and asked them to do something before it is too late, to ensure that the trees, which have been there for over two decades, do not disappear for good.

According to Chien, the trees have been attacked by pests in the past, and preventative treatment applied then had been successful. Surprisingly, the epidemic has recently reared its ugly head again, and this time it is more serious than before. The annual blossoming of the Barringtonia helps drive local tourism, and the attack by the pests has already had an effect on this year’s flower season. If nothing is done about it quickly, “there might not be any flowers to see come next year,” he says.

According to staff at the management office, the effects of the Selepa celtis moth are difficult to make out in the initial stages and often go undiscovered. However, as they eat away at the buds and young shoots, they will affect the times the flowers blossom. The branches and twigs that the pests attack have already been cut back, and this will be followed by the application of the biological pesticide Bacillus thuringiensis, to retard the spread of the disease.

On the question of whether the Barringtonia will bounce back next year, the office says that the situation at the moment is far from ideal and that, in addition to the use of pesticides, they will also need to spread fertilizer to increase the trees’ disease resistance. Whether or not they will be healthy next year remains to be seen.

(Translated by Paul Cooper, Taipei Times)

宜蘭縣五結鄉的穗花棋盤腳(水茄苳),被譽為夏夜樹上的「煙火」,但最近碰到病蟲害,不少樹被蟲啃得光禿禿,賞花秘境不在,地方高呼「快搶救」!縣政府樹藝景觀所會勘後,認為是梨偽毒蛾所致,將利用生物防治手段亡羊補牢,避免疫情擴散。

每年五、六月開花時,白色、粉紅色花朵僅在夜間綻放,配上路燈映照,花朵宛如焰火般絢麗,被譽為專屬於「夏夜」的煙火。

但最近有民眾發現,穗花棋盤腳的樹葉被蟲啃食殆盡,且疫情有擴大趨勢,縣議員簡松樹接獲民眾陳情,今天前往會勘,要求縣政府相關單位盡快亡羊補牢,以免樹齡超過二十年的老樹凋零。

簡松樹指出,穗花棋盤腳先前也曾出現過蟲害,但防治有成,未料最近疫情死灰復燃,且比往年還要擴大。穗花棋盤腳每年花期,帶動週邊旅遊產業發展,蟲害已影響今年花況,若不加緊處理,明年恐「無花可看」。

樹藝所人員指出,梨偽毒蛾起初症狀不明顯,不容易發現,但因為主要以花苞嫩芽為食,因此會導致開花不正常。現階段已將受蟲害的枝條做修剪,以降低蟲害量,後續會再用蘇力菌防治,延緩疫情擴散。

至於明年是否看得到穗花棋盤腳的盛況,樹藝所則說,樹況並不好,除了蟲害防治外,後續還必須施肥,增強其抵抗力,能否再現盛況,要看後續改善狀況而定。

(自由時報)

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top