Larch disease in D&G

Forestry Commission Scotland is joining forces with the forestry sector to take action to tackle a significant increase in a tree disease that kills larch trees.

Larch disease can be seen for miles

The diseased trees can be seen from miles around Credit: ITV News Border

The deadly disease attacking larch trees in Dumfries and Galloway can be seen from miles around.

Once trees are infected with Phytophthora ramorum, their branches turn brown.

The disease turns the trees brown Credit: ITV News Border
The infected trees are being felled Credit: ITV News Border

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People asked to apply "basic bio-security"

"It's a really unfortunate impact and it's certainly something that people will notice when they're out and about in the forest.

"Larch is traditional a species that's used by foresters in high amenity areas so, car parks, public road sides, forest walks, so yes, people will already be seeing dead and dying trees and will subsequently see the removal of them through the harvesting."

"We would like people to just apply some basic bio-security so once they're been out and about in the forest, when they go home, if they could just wash off any mud or tree needles, these sorts of things, before they go somewhere else so they're not moving the disease on elsewhere."

"What we are obviously doing is looking at diversions, relocation of routes to try and avoid the worst of the impact so people can still have an enjoyable experience when they come here, and obviously longer term we will be perhaps looking at realigning some of these routes to avoid areas that have perhaps been cleared."

– ohn Dougan, Forestry Commission Scotland Conservator for South Scotland

Plans to tackle larch disease in D&G

The larch tree disease has affected large areas of woodland Credit: ITV News Border

Forestry Commission Scotland is joining forces with the forestry sector to take action to tackle a significant increase in a tree disease that kills larch trees.

The disease Phytophthora ramorum was originally found in Dumfries and Galloway in 2012, but has increased its range significantly in forests throughout the region.

John Dougan, the Commission's conservator in the area said:

"This is a worrying development and we are working with industry partners to manage its impact, both in terms of limiting its further spread and in dealing with the trees that have already been affected.

"There is a core area in Galloway Forest Park where it looks as if all larch has been infected and we are looking at how best to recover as much usable timber as possible.

"Beyond this core area, we are looking at taking further action to fell infected stands and those adjacent to it to try to minimise the further spread of the disease."