New legislation will restrict movement of susceptible material near outbreak sites, following sighting of the pest in Kent last month
New legislation to protect the prevent the spread of the tree pest known as the larger eight-toothed spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus) has come into force.
The Forestry Commission identified a breeding population of the pest in Kent in December 2018, as part of routine surveillance.
Plant Health (Ips typographus) (England) Order 2019 will restrict the movement of all susceptible material – including trees and wood with bark – within 50km of outbreak sites. The first Notice of the Order comes into force today (21 January 2019) and applies to the movement of spruce (Picea) material originating within 50km of the outbreak site in Kent.
A ‘serious pest’ to the forestry industry
Nicola Spence, the UK Chief Plant Health Officer, said: ‘The eight-toothed spruce bark beetle poses no threat to human health, but it can be a serious pest to the spruce tree species and the forestry industry.
‘That is why we are taking robust action through this new legislation and its restriction of movement for spruce trees in a 50km area around the outbreak.
‘I encourage anyone who suspects a sighting of the bark beetle to report these to the Forestry Commission online through Tree Alert.’