31 January 2013
Forestry Commission Scotland is advising woodland managers across Scotland of a confirmed case of Ramorum disease at Glen Dye, south of Banchory.
The outbreak is of concern because the fungus-like pathogen Phytophthora ramorum (‘Ramorum’) which causes the disease has so far been confined to the west coast of Scotland where the wetter climatic conditions are more suited to it.
Hugh Clayden, Tree Health Policy Adviser, for Forestry Commission Scotland, said:
“This outbreak is in a part of the country that is considered to be less climatically suitable for Ramorum - and which is also far from the nearest infected larch crops.
“We are currently investigating how the disease arrived at this location but one possibility is through unintentional transfer on vehicles using the public road. It serves as a timely reminder for everyone to remain alert to the risks to larch from P. ramorum and also highlights why biosecurity has become such an important part of forestry practice.
“Although the western half of Scotland is the most climatically suitable area for P. ramorum, given the right site and micro-climate conditions, coupled with suitable host species, it can occur anywhere. Early detection and rapid action are key to reducing the impacts of this disease and we are therefore most grateful to have received such a prompt and responsible response from the owner and manager of this site in taking swift action to remove the diseased trees.”