Tree Health Threats


in Forestry Info/Pests & Diseases

Our trees are not only under threat from, among other things, sale, fragmentation, the high speed rail link, bio-fuel, quarrying, climate change or poor management. They are also under the very real threat of decline from serious pests and diseases.

The origins of some of these tree health threats are from, what seem, very unlikely places.  Forest Research (FR) tell us that:

“The ever growing global trade in plants, timber and the use of wood-based packaging material provide many pathways for pests and pathogens to escape their native habitats and enter new areas.”

It is clear from this FR statement that tougher regulations are needed for these identified routes of pests and diseases.

Forest Research aims to:

  • Understand tree pest and disease problems and provide sustainable solutions for their management
  • Detect early changes in tree health through monitoring programmes
  • Determine the risks posed by exotic pests and pathogens and develop methods for their management
  • Provide support for UK and European Union Plant Health policy makers for the development and implementation of best practice
  • Underpin advisory services that provide information and diagnosis for tree problems and disseminates information about good practice.

The Forestry Commission (FC) funds the majority of the FR’s work. We wonder how the cuts to the FC will affect the ability of Forest Research to continue it’s vital work effectively and maintain the world renowned standard, that is so envied across Europe.


Here are a selection of research documents outlining the most up to date details of some of the worst tree health threats affecting the UK at the moment:

Ramorum dieback of larch

Acute oak decline (AOD) – Bleeding Canker

Oak processionary moth (OPM)

Horse chestnut bleeding canker

Pine-tree Lappet moth (PtLM)

Dothistroma needle blight (DNB)

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