The volume of timber felled for plant health reasons in 2014 amounted to 0.8 million green tonnes, more than twice the 2013 figure - 640,000 tonnes from Forestry Commission, Natural Resources Wales and Forestry Scotland plantations, and 170,000 tonnes from private land, despite public sector forest accounting for just 43 per cent of softwood harvested overall.
"Softwood removals required by plant health legislation are expected to consist mainly of Japanese larch that is suspected to be infected by Phytophthora ramorum," the commission's report said.
In all there was a slight upturn in wood harvested and processed, with softwood harvestings up five per cent to 11.4 million tonnes and hardwood up one per cent to 532,000 tonnes.
The largest growth in use for UK timber was for wood pellets and briquettes, which rose 11 per cent to 335,000 tonnes and represents a 70 per cent increase since 2010. The import of wood pellets rose even more sharply, by 45 per cent to 10.7 million cubic metres, valued at £545m, even as UK pellet exports fell.
The total value of wood product imports increased by seven per cent to £7.2bn, while UK exports slid three per cent to £1.7bn.