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Phytophthora ramorum - disease confirmed at Tollymore

An outbreak of the disease caused by Phytophthora ramorum has been confirmed in larch trees at Moneyscalp Wood which is part of the Tollymore Forest Park.
Tuesday, 29 November 2011

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Forest Service said the area of trees affected is approximately 14 hectares and was identified in aerial surveys carried out earlier in the year. Action to fell the trees is underway.

Confirming the new outbreak at Tollymore, Forest Service Chief Executive Malcolm Beatty, said: “We are very concerned at this new development in Moneyscalp which is a southerly extension of the outbreak zone identified in 2010. Approximately 14 hectares of larch is affected and will be felled in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease to other areas of the forest.”

The Forest Service chief also appealed to the public to help in the control of the disease which has the potential to cause serious damage to woodlands and plants in the wider environment.

He said: “We would ask all visitors to Tollymore to carefully follow the guidance detailed on signs at the affected sites including any access restrictions. It is especially important to avoid any action which could result in the movement of infected soil or plant parts to uninfected areas. Visitors are also urged to ensure their footwear is free of any soil before visiting other areas.”

Two aerial surveys for the disease were undertaken during the year covering both public forests and private woodlands with significant areas of larch. Suspect sites identified from the air were then followed up with detailed ground inspections and sampling by Department Plant Health Inspectors to establish whether or not P.ramorum was present.

As a result of the survey work, the disease has been confirmed at seven public forest and eight private sites this year affecting 71 hectares. The public forests affected are Glenarm, Glenariff, Woodburn, Ballyboley, Tievenadarragh, and Moneyscalp.

Further details on the disease is available on the NIDirect Website.

Notes to Editors:

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