Larch disease spreading

Phytophthora ramorum is widespread in the south west.
Phytophthora ramorum is widespread in the south west.

Anyone visiting woodlands in Galloway Forest Park would be forgiven for thinking that autumn has come early – but what is being seen is the impact on larch of the devastating tree disease that has hit the area.

Phytophthora ramorum, which kills larch trees, was first found in Dumfries and Galloway in 2010 but is now widespread in the region.

The only way to tackle the disease (phytophthora ramorum) is to fell infected trees and other nearby larch in a bid to stop it spreading. The scale of the disease has meant that the Commission’s felling programme has dramatically increased and most of Galloway’s larch trees will be removed over the next 2-3 years.

Visitors can help reduce the spread of the disease by removing mud from boots, clothing, bicycle or buggy tyres, and pets’ feet.