Buy British and Irish saplings to prevent disease spread, says Woodland Trust
THE WOODLAND Trust is preparing for this year’s tree planting season by asking people across the UK to make sure that any trees put into the ground are from — and have been grown on — home soil.
The conservation charity has created an accreditation scheme to highlight when nurseries sell trees of UK provenance.
This means that tree planters and garden lovers can make sure that saplings have come from a safe source and will not be contributing to the spread of pests and diseases from other countries.
Between 1970 and 2013, 267 introduced plant pathogens became established in Great Britain, many with devastating effect — and two-thirds of these were native to Continental Europe. More recently a new pest, the zigzag elm sawfly, had entered the country — presumably on imported tree stock. The same can be said for ash dieback, which was first confirmed in the UK in 2012.
Lee Dudley, projects manager for the Woodland Trust, said: “The Woodland Trust has been exclusively planting UK trees since 2012, but we need more people to follow suit... essentially we want to create a consumer movement geared towards planting trees of UK provenance. Together we can protect our countryside land against tree pests and diseases.” To find out more about the UK and Irish Sourced and Grown Scheme, visit: www. woodlandtrust.org.uk/uksg.
The Woodland Trust is advising people to only buy trees grown on UK soil