The recent prevalence of Phytophthora pluvialis across England has prompted the Forestry Commission to ask woodland managers, landowners and the forestry industry to remain vigilant.

Phytophthora pluvialis is known to affect many tree species, including western hemlock, Douglas fir, tanoak and several pine species (in particular radiata pine). It is reported to cause needles turn brown, shoot dieback, and lesions on the stem, branches, and roots.

Outbreaks have been reported in Cornwall, Devon, Cumbria, Surrey and at multiple sites in Scotland and Wales. It was originally reported in Oregon, USA in 2013 on tanoak and Douglas fir and was subsequently identified in New Zealand.1

Forestry Commission, Forest Research and the Animal and Plant Health Agency are working together on surveillance and diagnostic analysis to understand more about the pathogen and ensure that measures are swiftly undertaken to stop its spread.

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