Tree pests and diseases
Learn more about the pests and diseases threatening our trees. Find out how to spot them, the symptoms and outlook, and how you can help.Read more about pests and diseases
With increasing numbers of tree pests and diseases in the UK, it's important we have confidence in the trees we plant.
Credit: Philip Formby / WTML
Our procurement processes ensure that every tree we use and supply has been sourced and grown within the British Isles. Each one is fully traceable from seed collection through to planting.
To enable this, we’ve put in place the biggest tree growing contract in our history, investing more than £4.5 million since 2014.
Seeds are collected across the UK and Ireland and sent to nurseries to be grown on into saplings. These saplings are then distributed to individuals, schools, communities and other landowners for planting.
Behind the scenes, we obtain seed certificates for all collections so the source can always be identified. Seed deliveries to nurseries are coded and batched, and sown into seed beds and growing areas designated exclusively for Woodland Trust stock.
These stock codes are retained right through to dispatch using computer records and physical labelling. This means we can track individual trees at every stage of their journey, and we have full visibility of the supply chain.
Responsible tree procurement is central to developing resilient woodlands. It limits the risk of spreading arboreal diseases and pests through plant imports.
Large-scale procurement of appropriate stock is a cornerstone of our goal to plant 64 million trees by 2025. It also enables us to get the best value from our supporters' money and to develop productive partnerships with the wider UK forestry sector.
Our UK and Ireland Sourced and Grown Assurance Scheme (UKISG) is a voluntary initiative for forest nurseries. It identifies the provenance of stock to buyers and assures that trees have been raised from seed sourced and grown solely within the UK and Ireland for its entire lifespan.
While not a licensed industry standard, UKISG is the benchmark for tree procurement at the Woodland Trust. As a major wholesale buyer of nursery stock, we’re proud to buy British and believe strongly that all new trees planted in UK woodlands and forests should be UKISG.
We appointed auditors to inspect and approve participating nurseries, so all saplings sold as UKISG are independently audited at every stage of their production.
Participating nurseries may identify and market UKISG on qualifying stock, and are not excluded from growing non-UKISG stock.
26 nurseries have qualified for UKISG assured status – including some of the largest producers in the UK.
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Imported pests and diseases pose a significant threat to our native trees, and the focus of the UKISG scheme is biosecurity.
By endorsing British-grown plants we hope to promote a reduced reliance on imported planting stock and limit the associated risk of pests and diseases being introduced from abroad.
In this way the scheme gives further protection for our native trees, complementing the range of measures already in place at borders and across the UK.
We've announced a bold new pledge in the war on waste: no more single-use plastic tree guards on our land from the end of 2021. The commitment puts us at the forefront of the movement to eradicate plastic from planting schemes UK-wide, and we are funding research to find viable alternatives.Find out more about our research
We plant woods and trees to combat climate change, build a greener future for the UK and create havens for wildlife.
We have single trees and tree packs to meet your needs, from wildlife to woodfuel. Delivery is free.
If you’re looking to plant lots of trees, we have the trees, grants and funding schemes to help.
We want to make sure everyone in the UK has the chance to plant a tree. So we’re giving away hundreds of thousands of trees to schools and communities.