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Phytophthora ramorum spreads to Sussex and Surrey Larches

The Forestry Commission has found Phytophthora ramorum in larch trees in South East England. This highly destructive tree disease was first discovered in 2009 and since then more than 3 million UK larch trees have been felled. Following arial surveys, the Forestry Commission has now confirmed that  the disease has been traced in woodland in West Sussex and Surrey. 

Phytophthora ramorum is not harmful to children or animals but is potentially very damaging for trees. The European Commission regulates P. ramorum as a ‘quarantine’ organism which means its presence on trees or woodland plants must be notified to the relevant authorities (Forestry Commission, Fera, Welsh Government, Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture & Rural Development).

The Forestry Commission is urging owners of woodland in the South East to inspect trees and rhodedendrons (which can produce spores which spread the disease) and report anything suspicious.

For further details about what to look for and support available from the Forestry Commission please go to http://www.forestry.gov.uk/pramorum

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