Erfurt (dpa/th) - In the city of Erfurt, many conifers are infested with a parasite. The Environment and Nature Conservation Agency and the Tree Commission of the City of Erfurt are currently registering an increasing number of tree felling applications, as the city administration announced on Thursday. However, most of these requests would be rejected. It only makes sense to apply if the tree hasn't recovered after a year or has hardly any needles left.
According to the municipality, the infestation is the Sitka spruce aphid, also known as the spruce tube louse. The parasite sucks the needles of the trees, eventually causing them to die and turn yellow-brown. According to the information, one-year shoots - fresh May shoots - are not affected. However, if the infestation is very severe, it does not sprout at all. However, a die-off is only possible in the case of more severely damaged trees. From about June/July, the lice population would dwindle anyway and ladybugs and lacewings would fight the lice in a natural way.
In most cases, the infestation is not a problem for the tree itself, as it can recover well in the years that follow. This was also shown by the last mass infestation in 2015. If trees that are actually affected - especially Sitka spruce, blue spruce and Serbian spruce - have to be felled, the tree species spruce should be avoided when planting new ones. If you still want to plant coniferous species, you should use yew, fir, Douglas fir or pine.