30th November 2017

Sir Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what research his Department is undertaking into acute oak decline.

Dr Thérèse Coffey, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment: Defra has invested over £2 million in research into acute oak decline over the last five years. Significant progress has been made in discovering the bacterial cause of the weeping stem lesions. Ongoing research aims to understand the exact role of the native bark boring beetle (Agrilus biguttatus) and whether other stress factors, such as climate and soil conditions, may make trees more vulnerable.

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