UK Bans Sweet Chestnut Import to Fight Fungal Blight

Published on : Friday, July 26, 2013

ChestnutImports of sweet chestnut trees from areas affected by a fungal blight will be banned to prevent a repeat of the disease that has been the reason behind the devastation of the UK’s ash population.


Sweet chestnut blight (Cryphonectria parasitica) is usually fatal and killed 3.5bn trees in 20 years across Europe and northern America. There are an estimated 44m sweet chestnuts (Castanea sativa) in the UK, reports The Guardian.

More than 18,000 sweet chestnuts were imported to the UK in the first four months of 2013. The blight was detected in the UK in 2011 in about half of 300 trees planted for nut production in Warwickshire and later at a site of 30 trees in East Sussex. All the infected trees were destroyed.

The Country Land and Business Association and Horticultural Trades Association welcomed the import ban.


is one of the diseases on a new risk register of diseases and pests threatening the UK’s trees and plants, which is in the process of being setup after the recommendation of an independent tree health taskforce.


The government has admitted that ash dieback, which was found in the UK last year, is uncontrollable and the only option to mellow it down is to slow the spread of the fungus that causes it.

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