Phytophthora ramorum and Phytophthora kernoviae in Scotland: status report

This paper sets out the history of these diseases in Scotland, the current situation and the actions being taken to control them.


Current Levels of Activity


Scottish Government (Horticulture and Marketing Unit ( HMU)) inspectors will:

  • continue to work to prevent the spread of P. ramorum in traded plants and undertake official inspections twice per year at registered nurseries handling specified hosts (including trees);
  • issue statutory notices requiring destruction of infected plants if found at nurseries, along with the other plant health measures required by the EU and domestic legislation;
  • conduct trace-forward and trace-back exercises to establish pathways and liaise where necessary with other Plant Health Authorities;
  • check plants traded within Scotland by inspecting plants at garden centres and retail premises;
  • respond to enquiries and undertake follow up activities when notified of infected consignments or potentially infected plants.

Established Gardens & Public Green Spaces

Scottish Government ( HMU) inspectors will:

  • undertake a survey of 50 gardens and landscape sites throughout Scotland as part of annual monitoring activities;
  • issue statutory notices at premises found to have infections. These will require removal of infected plants, recommend biosecurity measures and prohibit movement of infected plants or cut branches from the premises;
  • undertake surveys within a 1.5 km radius of infected premises to determine the extent of the disease outbreak;
  • continue to monitor sites within the Management Zone and will be able to assist with advice on how to manage and control the spread of the pathogen.


SNH and SEPA will:

  • monitor Vaccinium sp and other heathland and woodland species at designated sites for symptoms of P. ramorum to determine whether infection is present in heathlands and on woody species in Scottish woodlands. Samples will be sent to Scottish Government ( SASA) for analysis;
  • monitoring will be informed by the risk mapping models;
  • undertake water baiting in water courses to determine whether P. ramorum is present with pathogen diagnosis undertaken by Scottish Government ( SASA).

Scottish Government ( HMU) will:

  • issue statutory notices and require eradication measures if infected Vaccinium is found in heathland.

Scottish Government ( FCS) will:

  • issue a statutory plant health notice and require eradication measures if infection is found on woodland/forest trees (except in the 'Management Zone' - see action plan for trees).

For infection on R. ponticum, non-woodland/forest trees and other hosts, HMU and FCS, in collaboration with SNH, will liaise to decide who is best placed to require statutory action aimed at eradication or containment.


Scottish Government ( FCS) are responsible for Scotland's trees, woods and forests and are managed within the context of the overarching, sustainable forest management principles set out in the UK Forestry Standard and the Scottish Forestry Strategy.


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