Biosecurity and Best Practice
The plants in the RBGE Living Collection are under greater threat from pests and diseases than ever before. For many years, RBGE has been very careful about the source and health of any new plant material brought into each of its gardens.
Worldwide, however, there has been a wider long-term trend of an ever-increasing volume and speed of movement of plants in trade from a wide variety of sources. This unfortunately has increased the chances of new pests and diseases arriving to our shores with imported plants, and subsequently establishing and spreading by natural means. For example, disease-causing microbes such as Phytophthora ramorum, first recorded in the UK in 2002; and Hymenoscyphus fraxineaus (Ash Dieback), first recorded in the UK in 2012, are dispersed and spread through water, rain splash, and wind. Furthermore, as our climate changes, it becomes favourable to a new range of pests and pathogens, further increasing the risk. RBGE is keen to raise awareness to all our visitors of the potential threats and reduce the risk posed to the plants in the Living Collection across all four gardens from these new pest and diseases.
Good to Know
RBGE protects its collections through good horticultural practice, careful monitoring of diseases in the gardens, and a system of quarantining and disease screening for all plants coming into or leaving the garden. We pay special attention to plants destined for vulnerable sites—testing each one to ensure it is not carrying diseases that could compound the already considerable threats to Scottish biodiversity.