New resistant horse chestnut cultivar

Van den Berk launched Aesculus hippocastanum Treevolution ‘Cyrilles Clean’ PBR which is reportedly virtually resistant to the chestnut leaf-miner moth.

Aesculus hippocastanum Cyrilles Clean PBR kwekerij

The new cultivar was discovered in Maasmechelen in Belgium. Cyrille Vanbelle, a local councillor realised that a particular horse chestnut tree had no affected leaves, unlike the surrounding trees which were all badly affected by the chestnut leaf-miner moth. Van den Berk Nurseries had the cultivar examined at the EU’s Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) and obtained the rights to start propagation.

The horse chestnut leaf-miner is a small moth with caterpillars that feed inside horse chestnut leaves, causing brown and/or white blotch mines to develop between the leaf veins. The effect on the appearance of horse chestnut trees in late summer can be profound. The spread of the horse chestnut leaf-miner has been rapid, since it was first identified in Britain in 2002.

Work on the new cultivar has started in earnest at the nursery in the Netherlands, but there is still limited availability of the new cultivar to date. The discovery does however offer a hopeful perspective for the horse chestnut, which is iconic in our landscape.

The tree and shrub specialist, Van den Berk are based in the Netherlands, but established Van den Berk UK Ltd in 2019 and opened a UK nursery at Mirfield in West Yorkshire in 2020.