Dothistroma Needle Blight
Previously referred to as Red Band Needle Blight
Dothistroma Needle Blight (DNB) is a disease that can be caused by the two fungal pathogens, Dothistroma septosporum and Dothistroma pini. The disease has been present in Great Britain since the 1950s and is now a very significant disease of pine species there. The disease was found in Northern Ireland in 2011 on Corsican pine. The disease is present in most other EU Member States and in many other countries outside the EU.
Pine tree species are the primary host of DNB. In Britain, Corsican pine has been the most severely affected pine species but severe damage to lodgepole pine has also been reported. To date Scots pine has been less severely affected in Britain. There are other less susceptible conifer hosts.
In September 2016, DNB was found in Ireland for the first time. It was identified as being present on Scots pine trees at two privately owned (grant aided) forests, one in southwest Limerick and one in northwest Cork. Samples taken from Scots pine trees at the two forests in early August were analysed and laboratory results confirmed the presence of D. septosporum in early September.
Dothistroma Needle Blight was previously referred to as red band needle blight because of the red and colourful bands displayed across the infected needles.
Trees with severe DNB infection will appear with mostly just the current years foliage intact. Due to the loss of the previous season’s needles, a 'bottle brush' appearance to the trees can result. The lower branches closer to the ground are often more affected.
What to do
Forest owners, forest nursery staff, and members of the public are asked to be vigilant for the disease and report (with photographs, if possible) any sites where there are concerns about possible DNB symptoms in pine, to the Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine, by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 01-607 2651.
Nursery stock producers should direct queries to the local Plant Health Inspector immediately. Alternatively, queries can be sent by e-mail to email@example.com, or by contacting the Department’s Offices on 01-505 8885.