Pest & Disease Alert - Red band needle blight attacks Pinus in Scotland

Nursery stock in Scotland been destroyed after multiple outbreaks of Dothistroma septosporum attacked various varieties of Pinus and a shelterbelt protecting plants.

Red band needle blight surfaces in Scotland - image: Forestry Commission
Red band needle blight surfaces in Scotland - image: Forestry Commission
Inspectors from the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) were alerted to an outbreak affecting mixed Pinus and Pinus negra, mugo, sylvestris, austriaca, maritima and contorta on 21 October 2011.

Otherwise known as Red band needle blight, Dothistroma septosporum attacks the older needles of Pinus radiata and P. nigra. Yellow and light brown spots on the needles turn red although the needle base usually remains green. Black pycnidial spores are also produced on the damaged sections.

Less than a year ago Forestry Commission Scotland labelled the disease Britain's biggest blight to conifers following outbreaks in three sites in late 2010.

For more information see our Needle Blights Pest and Disease Factsheet.

Click here to download a copy of FERA's latest pest interception chart.

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