I’m not ashamed to say it — I’m a tree hugger. I’m especially fond of flowering trees, but anything involving bark and leaves works for me.
That’s why I’m pleased to see that the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) network has started a tree health survey in England, Scotland, and Wales this year. Tree pests and diseases seem to be increasing, and researchers need to get a handle on why that might be.
To participate in this citizen science study, all you need to do is print out the field guide (PDF) and field notebook (PDF), find a safe and easily accessible place to examine trees, and make your notes. Then you can submit your observations here.
The best time to survey here is between May and September. Some pests you might encounter include the emerald ash borer, the tortrix roller moth, and the horse chestnut leaf-miner. Diseases include nectria canker, oak mildew, and horse chestnut scale.