Advice and information on Phytophthora Ramorum

Applications for felling licences and current felling permissions

Risk zones

On the basis of scientific advice, the UK has been divided into three risk zones (PDF 1.6MB) – with Zone 1 being at greatest risk from P. ramorum infection, and Zone 3 being at least risk.

Zone 1 also includes the Management Zone covered by the Plant Health (Forestry) (Phytophthora ramorum Management Zone) (Scotland) Order 2014.

Please read our advice about the actions you might need to take in each of the three zones.

Statutory Plant Health Notices

Statutory Plant Health Notices (SPHNs), or their equivalent, are normally served requiring owners to fell infected trees before they produce new spores in the autumn and spring, and hence cause infection of more larch trees.

SPHNs will not be issued for infected larch trees within the Management Zone.

Within the Management Zone, Forestry Commission Scotland is working closely with the forest industry and tree health experts to assess the logistical, marketing and environmental implications of harvesting infected larch stands, prioritising this work in accordance with tree health advice.

To help reduce the extent, rate of spread and severity of Ramorum outside the Management Zone, Statutory Plant Health Notices will continue to be issued throughout the rest of Scotland and will now require the felling of infected stands of larch and all surrounding larch within 250 metres. The impact of this strengthened approach outside the Management Zone will be monitored over the course of the next year and reviewed in the light of experience.

What should woodland owners and managers do?

  • Familiarise yourself with our information about Ramorum on larch and its symptoms.
  • Maintain vigilance and inspect your woods regularly, particularly where larch and/or rhododendron is present.
  • Follow the recommended biosecurity precautions to minimise the spread of the disease, particularly if you are moving between woods.

If you suspect your woodland might be infected or you have noticed suspicious symptoms, please report it without delay to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a description, location and digital images if possible. Alternatively, if you don't have access to email, you can also report symptoms by telephone during office hours to 0300 067 6156.

Public information posters

We have produced two posters to advise members of the public about how they can help to reduce the spread of P. ramorum. The first is for use at main public access points in infected areas. The second is designed for use along access routes affected by harvesting operations for infected trees.

Please feel free to download and use these posters:

Moving Phytophthora-affected larch wood

Phytophthora-affected larch wood from forest sites or timber processing facilities/mills inside the Management Zone can only be sent outside the Zone if it is to an approved facility (i.e. a facility that holds a valid Processing Licence issued by the Forestry Commission) and a record of that movement needs to be kept. Currently this must be in the form of a Movement Licence issued by the Forestry Commission.

There are no movement restrictions, including records of such movement, if Phytophthora-infected larch wood from inside the Management Zone remains wholly within that Zone.

Anyone wishing to move Phytophthora-affected wood from forest sites or timber processors/mills outside the Management Zone must first apply to the Forestry Commission for (and be issued with) a Movement Licence and such material may only be sent to an approved facility (i.e. a facility that holds a valid Processing Licence issued by the Forestry Commission).

Please see the information available at: Licence System.

EU Timber Regulations

Please also note that the EU Timber Regulations, which came into force in March 2013, also apply to timber felled as a requirement of an SPHN and which is subsequently to be placed on the market. If you are issued with an SPHN, we will also include the necessary form. You can see more details at: EU Timber Regulations