Forestry Commission takes robust action to combat spread of tree disease - Defra

New plant health requirements introduced following further findings of the tree pathogen Phytophthora pluvialis to combat further spread.

The Forestry Commission is urging woodland managers, landowners and the forestry industry to remain vigilant following further findings of Phytophthora pluvialis in areas across England.

Extensions to the existing demarcated areas in Devon and Cornwall have been made following further identifications of the pathogen in these areas. Investigations are ongoing into the first reported cases of the pathogen in woodlands in Surrey and, following further findings in Wales, a new demarcated area has been introduced in Herefordshire to combat any potential spread.

The UK Chief Plant Health Officer has confirmed these findings following extensive surveillance activities by the Forestry Commission and other parts of the UK Plant Health Service.

Phytophthora pluvialis is a fungus-like pathogen known to affect a variety of tree species, including western hemlock, Douglas fir, tanoak and several pine species (in particular radiata pine). It is reported to cause needle cast (where needles turn brown and fall off), shoot dieback, and lesions on the stem, branches, and roots.

Further information on tree pests and diseases, and how to identify them, is available here.

Landowners are asked to report any suspect trees via TreeAlert.

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Posted On: 25/02/2022

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