Over the past two years, the felling of 112 plane trees in Çırağan Street due to disease continues to be discussed.
While many concerned chambers and environmental associations have expressed their reaction on this issue, the scientist who first diagnosed the fungal disease of plane trees in Turkey, Dr. Severoğlu spoke to AA.
Noting that the plane trees died in 2010, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality contacted him and asked for help in detecting the disease, Severoğlu said they took microscopic photos of the samples taken from the branches and the roots of diseased trees, and that after a month of work in the laboratory, they succeeded in isolating this fungus and diagnosing the disease.
Stating that this fungus, called “tissue degeneration fungus”, is a fungus famous for blocking xylem pipes that carry water from roots to leaves, Severoğlu said:
“As they multiply in the tree, the fungal mycelium clogs the vascular tissues, the water does not rise. Therefore, the leaves begin to turn yellow at the top. In the determinations I made in the field I have seen that there is desiccation in both directions from bottom to top and from top to bottom. Mycelium is jumping on other trees. We have determined that there are prunings in certain places .
After the detection of the fungus, a drug trial was carried out
Expressing that they have prepared a project to detect all diseases of plane trees after this fieldwork and they have identified 29 types of fungi, apart from the fungal disease in question, Severoğlu continued as follows:
“By examining the international literature, we have combined certain drugs that we have found effective on this fungus, in different proportions or by combining active ingredients, in the laboratory to increase their effect. In other words, we got new solutions. the municipality. We applied to trees that were about to die. Here we used a method called “tree injection” for the first time. We gave the trees these drugs with a gun we brought from the United States and extended the life of these trees for a while. However, we later saw that this was not the case. Trees should be sprayed continuously and diseased trees removed so that the disease does not reoccur. Because it’s a disease that can spread very quickly, especially from wound surfaces.”
Explaining that this drug relieves the trees a little by killing the fungi formed in the xylem, Severoğlu said: “Of course, these studies had to be continued in order to get a definitive result. I was appointed by YÖK in 2012 to the Department of Biology from Kyrgyzstan Turkey Manas University. I stayed there for 5 years. I received information that these diseases are still mentioned.
“I think there is a weakness in our being informed”
Expressing that there is a vast amount of information about the trees in question, Severoğlu continued his remarks as follows:
“There was a study on this disease in 2020. It was said that such a study was done in 2021. In 2022, 39 trees, a total of 112, were felled. I was not aware of any none of these studies or those were ongoing. I think there is a weakness in our information. If we had been informed, we could have voluntarily participated in the studies. As scientists, we have done our best to better as scientists to keep the plane trees, heritages of our ancestors, alive. Currently, IMM officials called us and offered to cooperate to fight this disease from now on.”
“To all, ‘One hundred percent cured of this disease.’ I can not tell”
“Was this disease present on all the trees? », « Could the felled trees be saved? Expressing that the questions have been asked, Severoğlu made the following assessment:
“I haven’t seen the trees. If I had seen it at least macroscopically, if this disease Ceratocistis fimbriata var Platani is ‘This disease is present in these trees, it must be cut down immediately.’ I would say maybe they died from some other disease. We identified almost 30 diseases in the project I gave after 2010. I think the municipality also fought against these diseases. I think that she did it today too. I can’t say. Because I don’t even know where the trees are that were felled. As someone who detected this disease, I would also like to know. We have been informed now, but it is a bit late. We have many plane trees waiting to be rescued in Istanbul. They can be cured, at least some work can be done to identify diseases.
Stating that they have seen many dead in ash trees and cedars on the Anatolian side in the past, and that they have detected bacteria in oak trees, Severoğlu said that they have spoken to IMM about methods of combating this. time and that they had been instrumental in their rescue. trees.
“All monument trees must be sprayed with protection”
Severoğlu also conveyed points to consider regarding the care of monumental trees as follows:
“(Tomography) is a method applied to determine its resistance. But first, the diseases must be determined. There is a rule in plant protection science: for a plant to be diseased, the diseases must enter through an opening Bacteria, more specifically, pathogens can penetrate and make plants sick.
It is necessary to pay attention to hygiene when pruning. If there is a disease factor in the piece of branch you cut from a tree, it infects your pruning tool. When you touch it to the next tree, you leave the spores or mycelium of this disease on the moist parts of the tree. Apart from this, the wound surfaces should be closed with liquids or pastes having sterilization capability. In addition, all monumental trees must be sprayed for their protection. This protection is the use of broad-spectrum drugs in small amounts at certain times. These protective measures will largely prevent the progression of disease. “
“If there were individuals who could be treated, they should not have cut them”
Stating that the highest level of attention should be paid to trees in municipal activities, Severoğlu said, “For example, it is necessary to prevent vehicles from hitting during the construction of sidewalks, in such a case, this road should be minimized by penalizing contractors, and tree roots should not be completely imprisoned with stones.” mentioned.
Severoğlu said that he had not witnessed the maintenance of trees for 5-6 years due to his time abroad, “But the work we did during those years gave the result that we have come this far without cutting too much. There may be various reasons for this disease to take this form after 2020. Global warming. There may be various reasons, but in the end there is a situation where 112 trees are slaughtered. The result is that if it is a disease, the municipality made it one hundred percent right. If there were 3 to 5 people who could be treated for other diseases, they should not have cut them. Such a situation, I have not yet considered whether it exists or not. He made an offer.” he said.
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