Laver & Wood’s Cricket Bat Lore Ch 2 Watermark Disease
Since the beginning of the twentieth century the cricket bat willow, Salix alba Caerulea, has been subject to a serious infectious bacterial disease, Watermark Disease. Watermark Disease results in the crown of the tree dying back, but rarely brings the death of an entire tree. This infection is known as watermark disease because affected wood has a dark watery stain.
Trees of any age are liable to infection, but those under five years of age seldom show any signs of attack. The disease is easy to recognise by the stain in the wood, but the external symptoms are sometimes confused with those of the honey fungus, Armillaria mellea, which slowly kills the tree without staining the wood, and with die back due to various causes including drought or bad drainage.
Trees infected by Watermark disease present with certain visible symptoms. In England the first signs that a tree has the disease is in about the third or fourth week in April and into early May. The first leaves, which by then have appeared, lose their grey colour, wither and turn reddish.
More Laver & Wood Cricket Bat Lore chapter introductions can be found below.
10. Handle Breakage
23. Knocking In
24. Oiling Bats
25. Moisture Damage