Trees face huge challenges
With more new pests and diseases reaching our shores tackling pests and diseases is now an urgent priorityLearn about the threats
Plane trees are common in parks and other amenity planting, and are a particular feature in London.
Over the last several years there have been problems with decline and dieback of branches due to a fungal disease called Massaria. While it doesn’t seem to severely affect the health of trees, branches may fall off, causing concerns over health and safety, since many plane trees are in busy urban areas.
The government introduced tighter controls for all imports of plane (Platanus) in November 2013 in response to the increased threat from Ceratocystis platani (plane wilt or canker stain of plain).
This fungal pathogen has been responsible for the death of thousands of trees across Europe, including decimating the famous Canal du Midi, a UNESCO world heritage site in France that is lines with 42,000 plane trees.
As a result anyone now moving plane trees into, out of or within England and Scotland must ensure they hold the necessary plant passport confirming the plants have been grown in an area or country officially shown to free from the disease. Similar legislation for Wales and Northern Ireland is expected to follow shortly.
If you think you’ve spotted this disease please inform the Forestry Commission using the Tree Alert reporting tool. Three good-quality digital photographs are required to aid identification.
For more information visit the Forestry Commission.