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Thursday, 25 November 2010

Sudden Oak Death

Hugh Firman Cheif Conservation Officer has requested help from us in a press release since this disease was confirmed recently at Shibden Park.

There is a page on it on the web put up by the Forestry Commission. I found it by searching for "Sudden Oak Death, Phytophthera ramorum."     Link to article:-  http://www.forestry.gov.uk/pramorum

Interestingly, the scientist who wrote it does not think that our two native oaks will be in great danger from the disease, though Rhododendrons are one of the most important sources of it, and we have as great many of those, both in cultivation and the wild.


Bruce said...


As our native oaks may not be in danger from this then which oaks are?
Does it kill the Rhododendrons?

Philip said...

Hi Bruce,

Called Sudden oak death because the fungus first appeared in the USA where it has killed millions of Oaks. Our UK native oaks are thought to be more resistant but the disease has killed Beech and many other trees. The disease has now entered bilberry. Heather is also deemed to be at risk.
Rhododendrons can be killed by the disease but often just die back. The problem is they are prolific spore producers, which is a severe threat to surrounding moorland vegetation as well as a risk to local trees.