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Phytophthora - Extent of the problem

Initially Phytophthora ramorum disease was found mainly on container grown rhododendron and Viburnum plants in nurseries across Britain including Cornwall. It was then found in a number of large parks and gardens in the South of England including many in Cornwall. Outbreaks on trees were mainly associated with infected rhododendrons nearby.

Phytophthora kernoviae has been found on a number of sites in Cornwall including woodlands and private gardens on a range of ornamental plants. There have been limited findings on Rhododendron bushes in South Wales and North West England, both in woodlands and on a commercial nursery.

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More recently the diseases have become more widespread across Cornwall and beyond and are now affecting a range of site types: woodlands, larch plantations, gardens, open heathland (with and without associated Rhododendron). Whilst the focus is still primarily on Rhododendron ponticum there is increasing concern about Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) and Japanese larch (Larix kaempferi).

To get an up to date view on the current status of the disease you should visit the Forestry Commission website

Aerial blight of sucker growth on Holm oak (Quercus ilex)

Leaf necrosis on Holm oak (Quercus ilex)

Photos courtesy of Defra / Central Science Laboratory