Phytophthora Ramorum or ‘Sudden Oak Death’
Phytophthora Ramorum or ‘Sudden Oak Death’ is a fungus-like pathogen of plants that is causing extensive damage and mortality to trees and other plants in parts of the United Kingdom.
It has also been found in a number of European countries, but mostly on plants and shrubs, especially rhododendron, viburnum and camellia. It is believed that it may have been introduced from the USA where it has caused significant damage and mortality to many trees and other plants – including American Oaks – hence the alternative name of ‘Sudden Oak Death’.
However, few trees in the UK were affected until 2009, when Phytophthora Ramorum was found infecting and killing large numbers of Japanese larch trees in South West England.
The Raleigh Estate has had several confirmed outbreaks of Phytophthora Ramorum or ‘Sudden Oak Death’ since 2011. As a result, the Estate has been working with the Forestry Commission and professional forestry contractors to fell and remove infected timber.
This disease is not harmful to humans but there is potential for people to aid the transfer of the disease via footwear and clothing etc. Warning notices are in place where forestry operations are taking place. For your own safety and the continued health of our woodland please be aware of any warning notices and ensure you stay on designated footpaths.
By 2018 the vast majority of our Japanese larch had been removed and the trees are gradually being replaced with native broadleaf trees.