Forestry Commission England’s Tree Health team

Aerial surveillance

Forestry Commission England is a sponsor of the 2017 National Tree Officers Conference (NTOC). Forestry Commission England

Members of the Forestry Commission England’s (FCE) tree health team will once again be in attendance at the National Tree Officer’s Conference.  Following the inaugural event last year, the team is very much looking forward to seeing what the conference has in store, and offering up information and expertise to attendees on all matters tree health.

What we do

Aerial surveillance
Figure 1 Members of the tree health team take part in annual aerial surveillance to monitor the health of the country’s trees.

The FCE tree health team’s key objective is to monitor the health of England’s forest and woodland trees.  We undertake a substantial amount of surveillance and monitoring and work closely with Forest Research and other Government departments to achieve this.  We often work in collaboration with local authorities and tree officers whilst undertaking surveys and controlling the impact and spread of pests and diseases.  For example, in London and the surrounding area we work with a number of local authorities as part of the Oak processionary moth programme.  We also benefit from working closely with the London Tree Officer’s Association (LTOA) who have undertaken surveys on plane trees in and around London.

Tackling Tree Health Threats

Tree health can have a dramatic impact on our landscapes, so it’s important that we all take the simple steps which can help keep our green spaces vibrant and healthy for generations to come.

Keep it Clean
Figure 2 The Keep it Clean campaign sets out simple, straightforward and achievable guidance that everyone can undertake to help protect the health of our trees.

FCE’s Keep it Clean campaign provides some straightforward, achievable guidance that tree professionals and the public can take, alongside some useful resources including information on specific pests and diseases.

The main way in which we can help protect our trees is to reduce the movement of potentially infected material from site to site as pests and diseases can be found in soil, organic material (leaves, timber, woodchip and firewood), live plants and water.  Just by simply cleaning our boots, tools etc. between sites we can reduce the risk of moving potentially infected material around with us.  Whilst pests and diseases can be spread via natural pathways such as wind, rain and animals, people have the ability to spread them much further and faster.  If everyone plays their part, we can improve the future health of our trees.

We’ve worked closely with partners to create and deliver the Keep it Clean campaign (including the LTOA and the ICF) and all of the guidance is based on evidence which demonstrates how effective our actions can be.  If you’re interested in finding out more about what tree pests and diseases we have in the UK, and ones that are on our horizon, take a look at our online resources which have a wealth of information.

Find out what you can do to Protect the Health of our Trees

At the conference, there will be experts on hand to answer your tree health queries, along with plenty of information on priority trees pests and diseases, their key signs and symptoms and biosecurity guidance.  In the meantime, you can join in the tree health conversation by following team members on Twitter (@treehealthnews, @DrKatDeeksFC, @MickBiddleFC).  You can also sign up to our quarterly tree health newsletter, or take a look at our new tree health blog; Out of the Woodwork.  And if you spot ill health in trees, please report it using our online reporting tool, Tree Alert.

Follow NTOC @TheICF 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Forestry Commission England and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Institute of Chartered Foresters. 







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