A NEW tree disease has been confirmed in Scotland for the first time. 

Phytophthora Pluvialis, a pathogen, was discovered near Loch Carron in the north west of the country, Scottish Forestry chiefs said today. 

Authorities will now introduce a boundary around the infected site to help prevent accidental spread of the disease, which arrived in the UK earlier this year and, up until now, had so far been identified in 13 sites south of the border. 

READ MORE: What is Phytophthora Pluvialis? Everything we know so far

Lorna Slater, minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, said: "Following the established biosecurity protocol we are taking swift action against this finding of Phytophthora pluvialis.

"We are imposing a movement restriction in the area of the find at Loch Carron and will continue targeted inspections at potential high risk sites across Scotland." 

P.pluvialis is a fungus-like pathogen known to affect a variety of tree species, including western hemlock, Douglas fir, tanoak and several pine species (in particular radiata pine).

It is reported to cause needle cast (where needles turn brown and fall off), shoot dieback, and lesions on the stem, branches, and roots. 

It was found for the first time in the UK in 2021 on western hemlock and Douglas fir and has been detected in Devon, Cornwall and Cumbria in England and now near Loch Carron in Scotland. 

READ MORE: Inspections to take place in Scotland as concern mounts over Phytophthora pluvialis

"We are asking the forestry industry and landowners to help tackle this pathogen and avoid its spread," Ms Slater added. "Please check the health of western hemlock and Douglas fir trees on your land. 

Forestry Journal: Lorna SlaterLorna Slater

"Key symptoms to look for are lesions on the stem, branch or roots and report any suspect tress via Tree Alert immediately.

"We also want to emphasise that everyone visiting the countryside and our woods can help prevent the spread of pests and pathogens by taking simple steps and ensuring they clean their shoes, bike tyres and pet’s paws before visits. Everyone has a part they can play in protecting our woodlands."