Recommended Sources

The purpose of this page is to signpost  information from across plant health sectors that is relevant to the natural environment.

 

About This Page

Much information is available online and in print to help identify disease symptoms, the organisms that cause them, and to provide guidance on management and biosecurity. Here we have collected sources we judge to be generally reliable for information on these topics. You can use the Resource Type button to filter, search by keyword, or scroll through all together. It should be noted that most information on these webpages concerns non-native invasive species (INNS) or those which have recently become problematic, possibly due to climate change. However, there are many native pathogens that have evolved with their hosts and are commonly encountered in the natural environment. See Getting Started for good places to begin in identifying both native and INN pests.

Getting Started

Good places to start in the identification process include the CABI Fieldguide for the identification of Damage on Woody Sentinel plants, CABI Plantwise Diagnostic Field Guide (for crops but very useful) and also Diseases and Disorders of Forest Trees. Futhermore there are several websites with information on common disease causing organisms in the natural environment including the tree decay fungi webpage of GMC Arboriculture and First Nature. If you need help identifying insects then you could contact the Royal Entomological Society, the RHS, or SASA.The Aboricultural Association also have a book shop where excellent guides can be purchased on 'Fungi on Trees', 'Tree Pest and Diseases' 'Managing Insects and Mites on Woody Plants' and 'Diagnosis of Ill Health in Trees'. Detailed information on most disease causing organisms can also be found on the Plantwise Knowledge Bank Database (Plantwise fact sheets). For general information on tree diseases, the Forest Pathology wesbite is very useful. Whether the organisms are INNS or native pests and diseases, be sure to practice good biosecurity and take control measures where necessary.

Reporting Notifiable Pests

Most pests encountered will not be notifiable, but if after checking diagnostic and specific resources you think you may have encountered a notifiable pest it is important that you report it quickly. In forest trees in Scotland notify Scottish Forestry via TreeAlert or by email, or if in any other plants notify the Horticulture and Marketing Unit at SASA. Outwith Scotland consult the Plant Health Information Portal for other UK reporting contacts.

Resource Details
California Oak Mortality Task Force

Extensive biosecurity and best practice guidelines for nurseries and wildland conservation projects issued by the California Oak Mortality Task Force, but relevant to most host plants and locations

FERA online publication

Nurseries, Retailers and Landscapers - Biosecurity Best Practice Protocols

FERA online publication

Parks and Gardens - Biosecurity Best Practice Protocols

FERA poster

Turning over a clean leaf - guidance in the forms of posters for biosecurity in woodlands and forests, parks and gardens, nurseries and gardens centres, and the countryside

Forestry Commission e-learning

Login as a guest and complete the Forestry Commission e-learning modules

Forestry Commission fact sheet

Forestry Commission biosecurity guidance fact sheet

Forestry Commission poster

Biosecurity poster from the Forestry Commission on forestry industry standard practices

Forestry Commission Top Tree Diseases

The top tree diseases in the UK website provides information on diseases, research, regulations and biosecurity mostly via the UK Government Tree Pests and Diseases

NNSS biosecurity advice fact page

GB Non-native Species Secretariat fact page with biosecurity advice and access to an e-learning biosecurity module

Observatree biosecurity advice

Observatree fact page with links to general biosecurity

Observatree measures and guidance

Observatree fact page with links to posters and advice

Plant Healthy Self Assessment

Plant Healthy Self Assessment to help protect businesses and customers against the potential losses and disruption caused by plant pests and diseases, with a full plant health assurance scheme in development

RHS advice page

Provides advice on biosecurity and on plant diseases

Scottish Forestry

Information on tree health in forestry in Scotland from the Scottish Forestry

Scottish Forestry fact page

Keep It Clean biosecurity advice tailored to the public

Scottish Forestry fact page

Scottish Forestry advice on Phytophthora ramorum in Scotland with biosecurity and replanting information

Scottish Goverment guidance

Scottish Government website for plant health issues

Scottish Government guidance

Scottish Government 'Plants get ill too' leaflet

SEARS fact sheet

Scotland’s Environmental and Rural Services fact sheet on biosecurity guidance

The Arboricultural Association

Tree disease identification and a comprehensive Biosecurity advice document for arboriculture and environmental sectors

UK Government biosecurity advice

Biosecurity advice for trees from the UK Government and links to useful rescources, including the 'Keep it Clean' campaign

UK Government online publication

Outline of the measures that DEFRA and the devolved administrations are implementing to improve plant biosecurity

UK Government Tree Pests and Diseases

A comprehensive UK Government website with information on how to identify, report, prevent and minimise the introduction, spread and impacts of tree pests and diseases in the UK