Ash dieback leaves

JPA’s tree consultants have been updating their pest and disease knowledge at a special course for select Forestry Commission surveyors.  This proved timely as new threats have broken out in the South West over the past couple of months.

We were delighted to have been listed last year as one of just five officially-approved tree disease surveyors for each of Cornwall, Devon and Gloucestershire under Forestry Commission England’s Plant Health Framework. This elite network of qualified arboriculturists is called on to survey suspected outbreaks and help plan and execute any remedial action required.

One condition of being on the framework is the attendance at specialist lectures to stay abreast of current and emerging threats. This year’s course included refreshers on the likes of Ash dieback (‘Chalara dieback of ash’) - a serious and well-publicised disease caused by a fungus called Chalara fraxinea which causes leaf loss, crown dieback and fatality.

We also got the latest on sweet chestnut blight, caused by the ascomycete fungus Cryphonectria parasitica. This was timely as this disease has recently broken out in the South West, resulting in a ban on the movement of sweet chestnut material - including plants, logs, branches, foliage and firewood - out of, or within, (currently) five zones in Devon and another in Dorset.

By having a network of disease experts like JPA on hand, the Forestry Commission is better able to identify distribution, and to plan control strategies across the region.

Information on pest and disease threats to UK woodland

JPA has compiled a simple guide to the current pest and disease threats that tree owners and the general public in the UK need to be aware of:

We have also created a roundup of the biggest potential threats which could reach our shores in the near future:

If you suspect your trees are suffering from one of these ‘nasties’, please call us for advice on how to mitigate the issue.