Oak wilt and North American budworm added to list of tree pest and disease risks

The Forestry Commission has added information on two new tree diseases to its website after the Plant Health Risk Group identified them as risks requiring contingency planning and vigilence.

Choristoneura freemani (formerly C. occidentalis - Western spruce budworm) - image: Flickr/brewbooks
Choristoneura freemani (formerly C. occidentalis - Western spruce budworm) - image: Flickr/brewbooks

Oak wilt is a disease affecting oak trees in North America caused by the fungus Ceratocystis fagacearum.

The four species of North American budworm, the larval stages of particular types of moth, can damage a range of conifer species, some of which are grown in the UK.

So far oak wilt and North American budworm have not been identified in the UK but there is a risk they could be accidentally imported, the Forestry Commission said. 

New information listed on the Forestry Commission website includes details of contingency plans which would come into effect in the event of an outbreak, alongside information on how to identify the pests or disease, susceptible species and control measures.

Tree affected by oak wilt in Texas, USA - image: Flickr/Bob Shrader

Plant health team manager for Forestry Commission England Andy Hall said:

"The protections against these pests getting in are stringent, but we cannot afford to be complacent. I therefore encourage everyone who works with trees and timber to familiarise themselves with the information about these threats, to remain vigilant for any sign of them, and to immediately report any cases they suspect."

Flickr - Creative Commons Licence


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

There are ways to find quality candidates for horticultural jobs if you widen your search parameters, Alan Sargent suggests.

Get set for Saltex 2017

Get set for Saltex 2017

This year's Saltex show at the NEC in Birmingham offers something for everyone, says Sally Drury.

Sargent's Solutions: What is the difference between a head gardener and gardens manager? Part 2

Sargent's Solutions: What is the difference between a head gardener and gardens manager? Part 2

In the second of a two-part article, Alan Sargent looks at the functions of today's gardens manager.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs
Horticulture Week Custodian Awards 2017 - the winners!

Find out more about the outstanding parks, gardens and arboricultural projects and teams that became our Custodian Award 2017 winners.

Products & Kit Resources