Phytophthora ramorum

There have been reports in the news recently regarding Phytophthora ramorum which is affecting primarily Larch in the UK and has resulted in felling a significant number of trees at Wentwood Forest. And there is likely to be significant landscape change taking place over the next couple of years.

Background

Phytophthora ramorum (P. ramorum) is a fungus-like pathogen of plants that causes extensive damage and mortality to trees and other plants. The first UK finding was made on viburnum in February 2002 but few trees in the UK were affected until 2009, when P. ramorum was found infecting and killing large numbers of Japanese larch trees in South West England. In 2010 it was found on Japanese larches in Wales. Since then it has spread very quickly and it seems that Torfaen is at the leading edge of the spread in South East Wales. A number of large woodland areas are now confirmed to be infected in Torfaen. For more information regarding the disease please see these websites:

The woodlands we are aware of where P. ramorum is present and where all larch will all need to be removed are:

  • Blaen Bran Community woodlands, Felling will take place in 2014
  • Blaenavon Wood (Natural Resources Wales), Felling will take place between September 2014 and March 2015.
  • Lasgarn Wood (Natural Resources Wales) – Felling will take place in 2014 or 2015

Torfaen Council has plantations of larch mixed with other species in Pontypool Park, Garn Lakes LNR and Tirpentwys LNR but no disease has been reported in these areas to date.

Further information

If you have any queries please contact Natural Resources Wales (NRW)
Email: alan.hubbuck@cyfoethnaturiolcymru.gov.uk
Tel: 0300 068 0251

Last Modified: 05/12/2018
For more information contact:

Ecology Team

Tel: 01633 648041

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