As of the first of January 2017, cities and towns in France will have to maintain their urban, green spaces without the use of herbicides and pesticides. At this stage, cemeteries and sports grounds are still exempt unless they are popular walking areas, as is the case at some cemeteries in Paris.
Many municipalities have already decreased the use of chemical agents in anticipation of this new regulation. Rennes and Versailles are among the pioneers in this, and Nantes, for example, has reduced its use of herbicides from 6000 litres in 2002 to a mere 80 litres today, the French daily newspaper, Les Echos, reported last week.
‘Koppert subsidiary treats trees’
Is the headline in the national daily, Les Echos, in an article written by Marseille correspondent, Paul Molga.
The report says biological control specialist, Koppert, has been testing the efficacy of its treatment on ‘le tigre du platane’ – Sycamore lace bug – around the bowling pitch at Cavaillon which is surrounded by sycamore trees. Instead of removing these infested trees, as was the case in Avignon and Aix-en-Provence, the municipality of Cavaillon has opted for protecting their trees by introducing natural insect enemies.
‘Koppert France identified the natural enemies after four years of research. They are the predatory Steinernema nematodes. Three treatments to the bark of the tree are enough to eliminate 96% of the infestation and cost 8 euro per tree,’ Les Echos correspondent Paul Molga reported.
‘Our solution holds no risk of resilience or adaptation,’ Les Echos, quotes Koppert France’s General Manager, Thibault Crance, as saying.
‘Sycamores, pine trees, palm trees, box trees, linden trees, oaks or silver birches… Koppert specializes in the biological control of predatory insects in trees and devotes 7% of their turnover to research… The company has shown a growth of 35% this year and anticipates a similar growth next year,’ Les Echos reported.
(Source: Les Echos, 13 December 2016, ‘Les auxiliaires de Koppert soignent les arbres’ by Marseille correspondent, Paul Molga)