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Phytophthora - advice to owners, agents and industry

Guidance for people working in Phytophthora-infected woodland or working with wood from Phytophthora-infected trees.

Hygiene precautions

When operations are taking place in woodlands confirmed as having either Phytophthora ramorum and/or P. kernoviae, best practice includes general hygiene precautions. This applies to all potentially damaging pests and diseases.

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Best Practice

  1. Ensure staff are aware of this guidance
  2. Carry recommended bio-security equipment when visiting infected woodland.
  3. If you come into contact with infected larch or rhododendron ensure that before leaving the site, footwear, tools, equipment, plant and machinery are free from any soil and plant debris. Because this is common practice when moving machinery from site to site via main roads, it is suggested that it is also extended to all movements of plant, machinery, tools and equipment within the forest. This should be achieved by simply brushing off as much soil and plant debris as is reasonably practicable.
  4. In areas where either P. ramorum or P. kernoviae is detected, a statutory Plant Health Notice will impose measures including, in addition to the above, disinfection with an appropriate fungicide.
  5. Management of larch stands after removal should take account of the future impacts of infection by Heterobasidion annosum fungus.

Guidance and advice


Financial support for owners and managers

In England, some support for landowners is available under the Countryside Stewardship scheme in response to tree health issues. Information is provided in the following capital item guides:

In Scotland, grants are available for landowners to help with the provision of services from qualified agents to give advice about dealing with the infected area and, possibly, organise clearance work. Grants are also available to assist with the costs of tree clearance.

In Wales, assistance might be available through the Glastir grant scheme to owners to replant larch sites which have been felled for ramorum disease control purposes.

Processing felling applications involving larch species

Sites felled to control Phytophthora

Helping to prevent spread or re-infection from ramorum disease, and advice on restocking (replanting) affected woodland in England.

Guidance on replanting conifer and broadleaf species on affected sites.

Collecting foliage of host plants from woodland

Guidance on collecting foliage from P. ramorum and P. kernoviae host plants, such as rhododendron, growing in woodland in Great Britain.

Plant Health inspections

Guidance for Plant Health Inspectors - what to expect if a Forestry Commission plant health inspector needs to visit your premises.

Standard operating procedures for plant health inspectors at sites processing infected material.

Harvesting and movement of materials

  • Decision matrix on situations where Statutory Plant Health Notices and measures to reduce the risk of disease spread may be required.

Moving sawn wood with residual bark

Getting professional advice

There are forestry agents in all parts of Great Britain who are qualified to provide advisory services to land owners and managers to help them comply with Statutory Plant Health Notices. Contact details of agents working in your area are available from The Institute of Chartered Foresters.

Further information about P. ramorum, including maps of outbreaks and risk zones, is available from our main P. ramorum information page.

Last updated: 19th September 2017