After it was first discovered in the UK in 2021 in South East England on western hemlock and Douglas fir, the fungus-like pathogen Phytophthora pluvialis has more recently been found in Cumbria in England and now near Loch Carron in Scotland.
The symptoms include needle cast (where needles turn brown and fall off), shoot dieback, and lesions on the stem, branches, and roots. We encourage members to remain vigilant and to report any possible sightings via TreeAlert.
Following this recent discovery, Scottish Forestry will be introducing a demarcated area in the North West to stop the spread.
Lorna Slater, Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity said:
“Following the established biosecurity protocol we are taking swift action against this finding of Phytophthora pluvialis. We are imposing a movement restriction in the area of the find at Loch Carron and will continue targeted inspections at potential high risk sites across Scotland.
We also want to emphasise that everyone visiting the countryside and our woods can help prevent the spread of pests and pathogens by taking simple steps and ensuring they clean their shoes, bike tyres and pet’s paws before visits. Everyone has a part they can play in protecting our woodlands.”
For up-to-date information from the Forestry Commission in England regarding the spread there, please visit this page.