A disease that kills larch trees is spreading with 50 per cent of the island’s larch now infected and thousands set to be felled, the island’s forestry division has said.
Phytophthora ramorum, also known as sudden oak death, was first detected on the island in 2010.
Area forester Jason Bolt said: ‘Since June there has been an increase of the disease throughout the island.
‘It’s been spreading north, east, south and west and 50 per cent of our growing larch crop is now infected with it.
‘The reason this disease is one of the biggest and worst is that it can affect a very wide range of species of plants.
‘We’ve already had to fell other trees such as ash, beech and sweet chestnut which were all infected.
‘The spread can most likely be attributed to the poor weather last summer. It spreads more in a moist atmosphere, the spores latch on to water particles.
‘All we are doing at the moment is trying to encourage people to abide by the forestry signs and do general things to minimise the spread.’
More on this story in Monday’s Examiner.