Last week, KCTV News exclusively reported that the parent cherry tree of the island’s native species is infected with “witches’ broom”.
The province responded by monitoring and treating the affected cherry trees, but the 3-year delay has taken a toll on the island’s beloved cherry tree.
Todd Thacker reports.
[slug] Gwaneumsa campsite
An expert from a firm which specializes in treating diseases that affect protected plant species uses a pole saw to remove branches from a cherry tree.
[slug] Branches infected with witches’ broom removed
These branches are covered with green leaves rather than pink petals.
This is a symptom of witches’ broom, a disease that impedes flowering and in the end kills the entire tree.
[slug] Parent tree, Jeju Local Heritage No.3, receives emergency treatment
This parent cherry tree is native to Jeju. It was designated Jeju Local Heritage No.3.
Following last week’s report by KCTV News on the state of the infected tree, the province has taken emergency measures.
All of the infected branches regardless of size on the cherry tree trunk are being carefully removed.
The specialist moves around to the opposite side of the tree, and repeatedly climbs and descends a ladder so as to not miss any infected branches.
Mun Bok-ju / Plant Protection Firm Witches’ broom can remain hidden during winter and spread when the weather warms up. Pruning the branches multiple times will eradicate the blight. < 문복주 / 문화재 식물보호업체 팀장 > 저걸 놔두면 겨울에 저기에서 쉬었다가 다시 날이 따듯해지면 번식해서 옮기니까요. 저건 잘라서 없애줘야죠. 한번 한다고 해서 완벽하게 되는 건 아닌데 저걸 꾸준히 없애주고 2~3회 더 하면 방제가 완벽하게 되는 거죠.
[slug] Four cherry trees infected at Gwaneumsa campsite
All of the cherry trees near (관음사) Gwaneumsa campsite were surveyed.
Officials found that four trees, including the parent tree, show symptoms of the disease.
[slug] Delayed treatment of 3 years after first infection
As witches’ broom is highly contagious, all of the affected trees have now been promptly treated, though the disease was first diagnosed in the parent cherry tree in 2016.
Though measures to stop the spread of the disease appear overdue, emergency treatment is now underway.
Hong Jong-taek / Jeju World Natural Heritage Management Division, Province (How will the tree be managed?) Officials will regularly monitor the parent tree to prevent the disease from spreading. < 홍종택 / 제주세계유산본부 역사문화재과장 > (앞으로 관리는 어떻게 됩니까?) 이 나무가 기준 어미나무라서 제주도에서는 상당히 관심갖고 주변에 병충해가 발생하지 않도록 주기적으로 관찰하겠습니다.
[Reporter] Todd Thacker [Camera] Kim Yong-min
Another step in the province’s plan to prevent the spread of witches’ broom involves inspecting and pruning trees in Bonggae-dong, a habitat of the Jeju native cherry tree which is designated a natural monument site.