Biosecurity in tree work is all about protecting trees from various pests and pathogens. Tree pests can cause infestation whereas pathogens can cause an infection- furthermore with both pests and pathogens resulting to causing contamination to plant and soil materials.
Pests and diseases can be spread in many different ways; with human activity escalating the establishment of various pests and pathogens. This can affect both rural and urban tree populations, as well as the ecosystems associated with them. Other pathways of infestation/ infection can be caused by vehicles & machinery, tools & equipment, footwear & clothing, timber & wood materials, plant material, waterborne, wind dispersal, animal dispersal, substrates and mulches and by other plants that are already infected.
The following must be taken into consideration prior to any arboricultural/ forestry activities commencing:
– Water moulds such as various Phytophthora species.
– Invertebrates such as aphids, nematodes, wasps, beetles and moths.
– Microorganisms including bacteria, fungi, viruses and phytoplasma.
Arboricultural/ forestry operations have the potential to cause further contamination of tree pests and pathogens. As mentioned above, contamination can be caused by pests being transported by clothing & footwear and vehicles. However, further contamination can also be caused when consideration hasn’t been taken when transporting infected arisings such as woodchip, brash, logs and stump grindings from site to site. As well as this, further contamination can also be caused when the appropriate cleansing of chainsaws, handsaws and other tools hasn’t been carried out after working on an infected tree.
Examples of tree pests and pathogens (diseases) include:
– Horse chestnut leaf minor – Sweet chestnut blight – Bronze birch borer – Asian long horn beetle – Acute oak decline – Elm zig-zag sawfly – Phytophthora lateralis – Hymenoscyphus fraxineus (Ash dieback) – Horse chestnut bleeding canker – Emerald ash borer – Phytophthora austrocedri – Oriental chestnut gall wasp – Sirococcus tsugoe – Pine processionary moth – Phytophthora ramorum – Oak processionary moth – Dutch elm disease – Red-necked longhorn beetle
What consequences does the increased establishment of tree pests & diseases have?
Overall, the increased establishment of various tree pests and diseases, some of which have been listed above, has a detrimental effect upon the environment, economy and society.
Environmental effects include:
– The loss of ecosystems associated with trees such as urban cooling and atmospheric particulate removal.
– The loss of habitats for wildlife.
– The loss of veteran trees.
Economic effects include:
– An increased cost of waste carriers.
– Increased costs for climate control on urban streets where canopy cover has been lost. – A decrease of property value when high amenity-value trees have been lost. – An increase in cost of removal of diseased trees and replacement tree planting for local authorities,
Societal effects include:
– The benefits of urban trees can be lost.
– A loss of aesthetic value
– A direct impact on human health
If you’re concerned your tree may be infected contact us today on 01603 358778 for more information.