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Tree Disease – Not In My Backyard?

04th June 2018

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The UK is at risk of losing millions of trees to pests and diseases which could seriously damage our gardens, landscapes and impact our wildlife populations.

Whether in your garden, lining your street or abundant in local parks and woodland, trees offer a range of physical and mental health benefits – from gentle exercise and connecting with nature, to combatting air and noise pollution, or simply offering you some shade.

Observatree is a project that aims to help protect UK trees, woods and forests from new pests and diseases through early detection and reporting. Early detection gives the highest chances of controlling or monitoring any outbreaks.

Monitoring the spread of tree pests and diseases is equally important. By knowing where something is and when it arrives could highlight trees or areas of the UK with natural resistance.

Observatree needs your help

While you are out and about, keep your eyes open for signs of three key pests and diseases, which are threatening some of the UK’s most iconic tree species.

Chalara ash dieback
Affects: ash
First UK recording: 2012
2018: Found across 45.4% of the UK (Source: Forestry Commission)

ash dieback
Image: Forestry Commission

Sirococcus blight of cedar
Affects: cedar
First UK recording: 2013

cedar
Image: Forestry Commission/Sam Milner. Natural Resources Wales.

Oriental chestnut gall wasp
Affects: sweet chestnut
First UK recording: 2015

gall
Image: Fera Science Limited

To help you, there is are free, downloadable toolkits available, including:

Identification guides
Reporting checklists
Questions and answers

Download your toolkit today, visit: observatree.org.uk/toolkits

Lead Image: Ana Perez-Sierra, Forest Research

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