Trees suffer from a wide array of diseases and disorders. Some are caused by living agents, such as fungi and bacteria, others by non-living agents such as frost and drought. Yet others are of complex origin, involving the interaction of several causal agents.
New problems are constantly appearing as a result of changes in the behaviour of disease-causing organisms, in tree care practices, in features of the environment, etc.
It is the role of the pathologist to investigate instances of damage, determine the cause and develop control measures or management strategies.
Pathology research within Forest Research encompasses trees in all settings:
- Ancient woodlands
- Commercial plantations
- Parks, gardens and streets.
Pathology research contributes to programmes within:
- Alien invasive species and international trade
- Biological control of conifer root and butt rot
- Clearance and disposal strategies for Phytophthora-infected rhododendron
- Condition survey of non-woodland amenity trees
- Dieback of birch
- Disease diagnosis and advice
- Dothistroma (red band) needle blight
- Drought stress in Sitka spruce in eastern Scotland and its association with a species of Phomopsis
- Dutch elm disease in Britain
- Impact of Phytophthora diseases on trees
- Modelling of Heterobasidion annosum in Europe (MOHIEF)
- Non-chemical protection against conifer root and butt rot
- Oak decline / dieback
- Risk assessment of Phytophthora ramorum (RAPRA)
- Supproting EU protected Zone status for various pests and pathogens
- Tree health monitoring
- Using molecular technology to characterise the biology of Pseudomonas syringae pv. aesculi, causing bleeding canker of horse chestnut
- Woodland survey of Phytophthora ramorum.
Disease diagnosis and advice
Information on disease problems is in great demand by foresters and arboriculturists. Pathologists in Forest Research produce books, leaflets, photo-guides and computer applications that can be used by experts, forest managers and the layman to identify some of the causes of ill-health. These include:
- Tree Health Diagnostic and Advisory Service
This service provides nationwide diagnosis, identification and advice on tree diseases.
For further information contact: