Lax imports regime threatens Britain's native trees, says Forest Research expert

Britain's native trees face greater danger than ever before thanks to lax horticultural import controls, according to a report.

One of the UK’s most senior authorities on trees, Clive Brasier, said Britain’s trees were under relentless and systematic attack from a host of diseases.

Invasive organisms could adapt and strike chestnut, alder, larch, Corsican pine, beech and oak, the professor at Forest Research warned in the Daily Telegraph.

Pests ranging from bleeding canker, sudden oak death and red band needle blight were killing trees from woodlands, riverbanks and lowlands.

Brasier said international protocols governing the trade and movement of trees and root stock had not been properly revisited since the 1950s and were now inadequate.

"The trade in plants is now highly globalised and yet most European nurseries and plant-health organisations have little knowledge that they may be harbouring exotic Phytophthora pathogens," the article said.

Brasier called for international protocols on the trade in plants and trees to be overhauled "urgently and comprehensively" to control movement of material.

The RHS and journalists should educate people and the plant-nursery trade on the risks of imports, and lobby MPs on what they planned to do "to save our trees".


Visit our pests and diseases resources section.


For all the week's news, analysis, opinion and market data for the horticulture industry, subscribe to Horticulture Week here.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Business planning - cash-flow management

Business planning - cash-flow management

Wider market volatility can have a big impact on cash flow but there are ways to avoid problems, Neville Stein explains.

Chainsaws - Improving performance

Chainsaws - Improving performance

Battery chainsaws offer many advantages while innovative technology shelps the latest petrol models meet emissions standards, writes Sally Drury.

Chainsaws tested and reviewed: battery v petrol

Chainsaws tested and reviewed: battery v petrol

How do the latest battery models shape up against new petrol chainsaws when tested at Bridgwater College? Sally Drury reports.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Custodian Awards

Jeremy Barrell On...

Jeremy Barrell

Tree consultant Jeremy Barrell reflects on the big issues in arboriculture.

Products & Kit Resources