Defra set to restrict imports of SE Asian trees

Imports of Japanese maples and other ornamentals trees from South East Asia and the US look set to be restricted, because of the threat of invasive pest the citrus longhorn beetle.

Adult male citrus longhorn beetle - photo: Defra
Adult male citrus longhorn beetle - photo: Defra

Defra are due to announce later this week what controls will be placed on imports into the UK of species susceptible to the pest, following the lead of the EU.


It looks likely that specified plants will only be allowed imported from countries where citrus longhorn beetle is known to be present (including China, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar and the USA) if they are accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate declaring they have grown in a zone free of the pest for over two years.


The specified plants include Acer spp., Aesculus hippocastanum, Alnus spp., Betula spp., Carpinus spp., Citrus spp., Corylus spp., Cotoneaster spp., Fagus spp., Lagerstroemia spp., Malus spp., Platanus spp., Populus spp., Prunus spp.,  Pyrus spp., Salix spp., and Ulmus spp.


Full details of the EU decision and Defra regulations will appear in Horticulture Week magazine as soon as they are released.

The citrus longhorn beetle (Anoplophora chinensis) is a serious invasive pest that originates from China

An outbreak occurred recently in a private garden in Washington, Tyne and Wear. Beetles were found earlier this year at a nursery in Guernsey on maple trees (Acer palmatum), imported from China via The Netherlands.

More details about this pest are available on the Defra website at

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