The voluntary code of practice devised, introduced and implemented by Barcham Trees regarding the bio-security of its tree stock has been praised by Lord Framlingham (Conservative) in a debate in the House of Lords on the natural environment on 15 January 2015.
Lord Framlingham said “Following the importation of ash dieback from Europe, there was a call, including one from me, for a reduction in the number of imported trees and for much more reliance on home-grown stock to reduce the ever present and very real danger to our tree population. Sadly, figures that I obtained through a Written Question show that in the last planting season we imported more trees than ever. I acknowledge that this is not a simple matter. It involves long-term planning, with appropriate commitments and contracts. But trees are a long-term business, and getting it wrong again would be disastrous.
“Perhaps a quarantine system is the answer, at least in the short term. A company called Barcham Trees, based in East Anglia, has introduced its own quarantine system. It says that it will not import trees and sell to customers for immediate planting, and that all imported trees will be held on the nursery for one full growing season during which time they will be subjected to rigorous inspection for pest and disease. This includes systematic and regular DEFRA visits.
“I do not know whether other companies are doing this, but if it is not already happening, perhaps the Minister could look into the merits of that system. Audit trails for trees are also important, so that trees sold by any particular nursery can be easily traced”.