Phytophthora Ramorum – Larch disease
Unfortunately, a disease which attacks larch trees has been identified at Blaen Bran. Phytophthora was identified in our largest larch woods, by Natural Resources Wales staff, in October and further tests have been carried out on larch trees in the remaining areas of Blaen Bran. We still await the results of the latest tests.
Phytophthora ramorum (P. ramorum) is a fungus-like pathogen of plants that causes extensive damage and mortality to trees and other plants. The first UK finding was made on viburnum in February 2002 but few trees in the UK were affected until 2009, when P. ramorum was found infecting and killing large numbers of Japanese larch trees in South West England. In 2010 it was found on Japanese larches in Wales. Since then it has spread very quickly and it seems that Torfaen is at the leading edge of the spread in South East Wales. A number of large woodland areas are now confirmed to be infected in Torfaen
Blaen Bran position
Currently, our “top larch” woods are under a Plant Health Notice, issued by Natural Resources Wales, and we must fell or kill these trees in the coming months, as part of their attempts to restrict the movement of this disease across the country.
The Community Woodland committee are considering the options available to deal with this difficult challenge and will update our website as things unfold.
In the meantime we ask that visitors to the woodland view the bio-security notices at the gated entrances and do their best to comply with efforts to confine this dreadful disease.