Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Phytophthora diseases

I continue to be concerned about the spread of Phytophthora - see the earlier Posts on this Blog.  It has been found in various parts of Scotland (e.g. Argyll), but at present it does seem to be confined to the wetter, western side of the country.

It has been shown to affect bilberry (win berry in Wales, blueberry in Scotland), and also heather, but not on a large scale.  However, this does not mean that this will not happen.

The Fera website is about the best source of information.  The website includes a link to some research about the susceptibility of heathland species.  Table 6 shows that of the three heathers, Ling Calluna vulgaris is the only one rated as slightly susceptible to phytophthora, but Bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus is highly susceptible.

It is very much a case of watching and waiting and hoping that the phytophthoras do not get a hold of heather.

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