Growers help cure royal trees

Horticulturalists working to help five horse chestnuts in the grounds of Buckingham Palace are expected to announce the specimens have overcome bleeding canker – a disease that has seen around 3,000 trees removed in the UK.

The 39-acre palace gardens is one of three sites across the country where University of Reading park, garden and greenhouse enthusiasts have been working to develop treatments for the condition, according to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

Soil and moisture analysis led the experts to agree the earth around the trees needed its pH level adjusted.

It was also in need of extra nutrients, although deemed to be hydrated enough.

The ground was aired and fertiliser, microrrhyzae, organic matter and mulch were also added.

RHS head of arboretum at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Tony Kirkham explained: "Its about getting a balance with trees and the urban environment and trying to keep them as stress-free as possible."

Meanwhile, Honda is running a competition to find the owner of the oldest lawnmower in the UK, with the winner being presented with a new £850 HRX476 QX model.