‘Along the wayside’, Katie Blain, Forestry Commission England

Pine processionary moth (PPM) caterpillars present a similar concern as their Oak counterparts. They can weaken trees by defoliation and pose a hazard to public health.

Pine can suffer from a range of pathogens that exist in the UK; PPM is not currently known to be present, but it has been extending its range across Europe towards the English Channel.

As Jane Barbrook from APHA said in a previous blog; negative data is good! If you are out and about surveying, or just enjoying a walk, look around and report any stands of pine trees which are free of PPM to Observatree . The Forestry Commission can use these reports to declare our pest free status and, by keeping an eye out, PPM may be spotted at low populations so that our colleagues at Forest Research can be made aware of it via Tree Alert.

Being passionate about trees and enjoying spending free time learning about pests and diseases is a great resource for monitoring tree health in the UK. Data gathered by passive observations can be very useful.

Enjoy your walk, and keep looking along the wayside!

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