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Strict new controls to protect the UK’s trees and plants against damaging threats - Defra

New national measures come into force to safeguard the UK, and its forestry and horticulture industries, from a range of plant health diseases and pests.

Today (Tuesday 21 April 2020) new national measures have come into effect to safeguard the UK, and our forestry and horticulture industries, from a range of plant health diseases and pests including the devastating Xylella fastidiosa and exotic beetles which can kill ash trees.

These new regulations, detailed below, will add more stringent import requirements to protect UK plant health against these threats.

Xylella – The import of Coffea and Polygala myrtifolia species is now prohibited, due to a high disease rate in these species, as well as stronger import requirements for other high-risk hosts (including Olive, Almond, Nerium Oleander, Lavender and Rosemary).

Emerald ash borer (beetle) – New measures applying stronger import controls to countries within 100km of confirmed outbreak areas. This includes the removal of an option, within EU legislation, to remove the bark and sapwood to a depth of 2.5 cm for all countries regulated for emerald ash borer. This will help mitigate the risk of importing infected wood which has not properly met the official requirements.

Plane tree wilt – More stringent ‘Protected Zone’ requirements for the UK including measures for plane trees, intended for planting other than seeds, which must now have been grown throughout their life in a pest free area or an EU Protected Zone. The new requirements apply to imports to the UK from Albania, Armenia, Switzerland, Turkey, the United States and the EU-27.

Posted on: 21 April 2020

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