The Impact of Phytophora Ramorum on our Woodlands
11th October, 2013
Unfortunately Larch trees on our Estates are succumbing to a very aggressive disease called Phytophora Ramorum. This disease affects some conifer tree species, Rhododendrons and Bilberry. If the disease becomes established on Bilberry then many sensitive habitats that our threatened species rely on could be very seriously affected, including the iconic Black Grouse.
The disease is spread by spores, mainly windblown but can be moved inadvertently by human means. In order to slow the spread of this disease it is important footwear and bikes are cleaned before coming onto the estates and before leaving.
The disease unfortunately means we have to fell the Larch out of our woodlands over a very short time frame – far quicker than we would wish. We hope to retain any non Larch trees within the mixed species stands in order to minimise the impact of these fellings. However these trees will be at an increased risk of wind throw until they grow to adjust to their higher levels of exposure. We also need to be aware that there is an increased risk in the woodlands during windy conditions for the next few years.
The areas cleared of Larch will be replanted with more resistant species to ensure a sustainable future for these woodlands.
For further information please see http://www.forestry.gov.uk/pramorumscotland