The United Kingdom is going to stop importing larger oaks from the Netherlands and other EU countries in the short term because it does not want to bring in the oak processionary caterpillar. The NVWA reports this on Tuesday. It is not yet known exactly when the import stop will start.
At the moment the caterpillar, which causes enormous nuisance in several countries, is still rare in the UK. In recent weeks, however, oak finds that had recently been imported from the Netherlands are said to have made several discoveries of the animal. That is why the country is tightening up the requirements.
The infected trees came from at least seven different Dutch companies, the NVWA reports. The finds were mainly made on avenue trees, which are larger. That is why the smaller trees can in any case first be imported.
The ban therefore applies to all Quercus trees that have a circumference of more than 8 centimeters and are higher than 1.2 meters, except for the so-called Q. suber.
"Also be cautious with small oaks"
The NVWA calls on growers and traders to immediately be "very reluctant to export" the trees in question to the UK and Ireland. Even smaller trees should be used with more care.
"The pest pressure is much greater this year than before and the risk of contamination of plant material is also", the authority said.
If an oak processionary caterpillar is found at the time of inspection by the British, all trees from the same batch will be destroyed.