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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

British forests under new threat from pests


British forests under new threat from pests reports the BBC:
A year after the first case of ash dieback in wild trees in Britain, the disease has now spread across much of England, Wales and Scotland. The public is being asked to be the "eyes and ears" of the countryside amid concern about new global threats that could spell disaster for forests.
It is quite worrying just how many threats the nations forests are currently under. The OPAL Tree Health Survey reveals the key threats.

Oak processionary moth: first detected in Ealing and Richmond in 2006, then outbreaks in south London, west London and Berkshire - it defoliates and weakens trees, making them susceptible to pests and diseases

Asian longhorn beetle: wood-boring insect that can cause damage to a range of trees - a major 2012 outbreak in Kent was traced to wood packaging imported from the Far East

Asian longhorn beetle
Citrus longhorn beetle: a few have arrived on trees imported from China, Japan and South Korea, but have so far been intercepted

Chalara dieback of ash: fungal disease of ash trees, now established in the UK, which causes crown death and wilting and dieback of branches

Pine processionary moth: insect moving north through France and now breeding near Paris - 1995 outbreak in Scotland was contained

Emerald Ash borer: beetle that damages ash trees - a native of Asia, it's arrived in the US in imported wooden packing material

The risk to the forests is huge and this once wooded island could see large patches badly damaged.

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