Dresden (dpa / sn) - In the Dresden city area, many conifers are infested with a parasite. According to the Environment Agency, this is the Sitka spruce louse, also known as the spruce tube louse. The parasite sucks out the needles of the trees, eventually causing them to die and turn yellow-brown. Mild winters and dry spring weather favored the proliferation of the louse. According to the environmental agency, the spruces can only be protected to a limited extent, since spraying is only possible on young trees and the pesticide can be dangerous for other insects.
However, the diseased trees are not cut down for the time being: "Infested trees pose no danger to people, property or other tree species with the exception of the named spruce species. So there is no reason to fell them for the time being," explains Birk Albert, Head of department for wood protection in the Dresden Environment Agency. A strongly recurring infestation by the Sitka spruce aphid must be expected in the next few years.
The parasite was introduced to Germany from North America. Because spruces are prone to drought, other tree species in the city area are to come into focus in the future: "Our goal is to establish a wide-ranging mix of species in the city area that are adapted to the respective location be represented," explains Albert.