Chestnut Blight

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Chestnut blight is a disease of chestnut and oak trees that is present in Victoria. It is caused by a fungus (Cryphonectria parasitica) that grows underneath the bark, resulting in degraded or dead tissue (cankers) that slowly develop and surround the infected trunk, stem or branch. Once a tree is infected, the prognosis is bleak – the tree will eventually die.

In Australia, chestnut blight primarily infects chestnut and oak trees. These are referred to as “host” trees.

Chestnut blight poses a significant risk to Australia’s chestnut industry, approximately 70 per cent of which is produced in Victoria. Once present, the disease can remain dormant for many years before symptoms become visible, making it very difficult to detect and eradicate.

The Industry Biosecurity Officer (Chestnuts Australia Incorporated) can provide support to chestnut growers across Australia regarding surveillance, suspected detections and management of chestnut blight. Growers are encouraged to contact the Industry Biosecurity Officer for further advice.

Growers are our first line of defence.

All chestnut growers are asked to remain vigilant and survey their chestnut and oak trees every three months for signs of this devastating disease. If you suspect that you have found chestnut blight, report it immediately to:

•     the Industry Biosecurity Officer (Chestnuts Australia Incorporated) at ibo@chestnutsaustralia.com.au (if you are located within Victoria), or

•     the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881 (if you are located outside Victoria).

Useful links can be found below.

Guide to managing Chestnut Blight(PDF, 2MB)

Chestnut Blight surveillance form(PDF, 71KB)