Felling started to combat larch tree disease

Forest Enterprise Scotland is undertaking felling operations around Ae, Dumfries and Ayrshire in order to slow the spread of a tree disease.

Phytophthora Ramorum is a tree disease which mainly affects larch and has been largely confined to the Galloway region.

Unfortunately the disease appears to have spread eastwards and northwards.

Regulations to control the spread require all the infected trees to be removed and also the un-infected trees surrounding them as this stops the production and transmission of spores.

Significant areas around Ae Forest, Clauchrie Forest and Mabie Forest will be cleared of larch to reduce the spread of the disease.

Alan Gale, Forest Enterprise Scotland’s tree health manager said:

“We’d like to make the public aware that over the next few months they will see additional felling in areas affected by this disease. Unfortunately there’s no alternative to felling if we are to try and reduce the spread of this tree disease.

“The forests affected are popular with visitors and unfortunately this will mean that temporary diversions on walking and biking routes are likely. We’d like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding whilst the felling is being carried out.

“I would urge the public to join us in our “Keep it Clean” campaign, which asks that before arriving at any forest, visitors clean their boots and bikes, any kit they’re bringing and even pets paws if dog walking.

“This disease can travel from one forest to another in mud and forest debris so it is important to clean it off before visiting woodlands.”

Although the forest landscape will change, Forest Enterprise Scotland will take this opportunity to redesign the forests for the better. The trees being felled will be replaced over time and the timber can still be used and will supply key markets as normal.

Notes to editors

  1. Forest Enterprise Scotland is an agency of the Forestry Commission and manages the National Forest Estate on behalf of Scottish Ministers.
  2. Tha Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba na phàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh na h-Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus bidh e a’ toirt seachad comhairle air poileasaidhean coilltearachd agus air riaghladh. Tha Iomairt Choilltean na h-Alba na fo-bhuidheann aig Coimisean na Coilltearachd a tha a’ ruith Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta as leth Ministearan na h-Alba.
  3. Media enquiries to Steve Williams, Forest Enterprise Scotland press office, 0300 067 6508 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.