Tree officers body launches guides to preventing and responding to canker stain of plane

The London Tree Officers Association (LTOA) has published two new guidance documents on canker stain of plane (CSP, Ceratocystis platani).

Plane trees lost to CSP along the Canal du Midi, France - image: Christian Ferrer (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Plane trees lost to CSP along the Canal du Midi, France - image: Christian Ferrer (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The first, Canker stain of plane: A guide to prevention is a brief two-page reminder for tree officers and contractors of the importance of biosecurity in the fight to prevent Ceratocystis from entering the UK.

The second, Canker stain of plane: Dealing with an outbreak, is a four-page guide to support tree officers and other arboriculturists should Ceratocystis be confirmed in the UK, with the aim of eradicating the disease before it becomes established.

Both documents have been influenced by recent Forestry Commission work, including its Keep it Clean campaign and the Ceratocystis platani Contingency Plan. They are both available for free download on the LTOA website.

Since October 2014, the UK has held EU Protected Zone Status (PZS) for Ceratocystis, requiring robust controls relating to importations of plane trees and ensuring that planes can only be imported from other areas which have been designated free of the disease.

The LTOA, under contract to the Forestry Commission, has been carrying out annual surveys for CSP in Greater London since 2013, and says it does not believe the disease is yet present in the UK.

A more comprehensive Ceratocystis text, the 48-page colour booklet Detecting and identifying canker stain of plane, by Lucio Montecchio and revised and updated by Neville Fay and John Parker, is also available from the LTOA.


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