Top tips for Plant Health

Caring for your plants and enjoying local trees is a great way to keep an eye on plant health close to home and if you spot anything make sure you report it.

You can also be an ambassador for biosecurity by being aware of the potential risks to plants and following some simple best practice guidelines to help avoid spreading plant disease.    

Check out these top tips to help you look after our plants and trees!

Actions you can take


1. Take care of plants at home and in the office

2. Buy responsibly

Source plants from reputable nurseries and suppliers

3. Don’t bring back plants from abroad

4. Report any unusual symptoms on trees and plants

Visit FC Tree Alert online

5. Clean your boots

After visiting woodlands and parks to help limit the spread of potentially devastating plant diseases

There are lots of important and easy ways you can help preserve plant life and support the International Year of Plant Health!

Enjoy and care for plants

Get out and about to your local woods, parks and gardens to enjoy beautiful plants and trees. Or simply enjoy and care for your own plants at home, making sure you have the right plant in the right place and checking them regularly, all helps to contribute to healthy and thriving plants.

Be an ambassador for biosecurity

Biosecurity refers to action that is taken to stop the introduction or spread of organisms harmful to human, animal and plant life. There’s lots that you can do to help keep the UK free of harmful plant pests and diseases – whether you are travelling here from other countries, professionally growing or supplying crops, plants and trees, or gardening on your allotment - so that we can all continue to enjoy the benefits that plants and trees provide.

You can be an ambassador by:

  • Practicing good biosecurity when you are out and about in woodlands, parks and gardens. Doing things like making sure you clean your boots and cycling equipment can limit the spread of potentially devastating plant diseases.
  • Not bringing plants or plant cuttings home from abroad - Don’t Risk It.
  • Buying plants and trees from a responsible supplier who practices good biosecurity. Check the plant’s origin. Buy British grown where possible or, if a plant or tree is imported, make sure it comes from an area free from damaging pests and diseases. Consider the type of tree that would be best for a particular site – plant the right tree in the right place.

Be Vigilant

Get to know your local trees and be aware of any unusual symptoms on them. You can report any suspect findings to the Forestry Commission’s Tree Alert website.

Follow us

Follow Nicola Spence, UK Chief Plant Health Officer on Twitter @plantchief

Use #IYPH2020 to raise awareness about the importance of #PlantHealth and share best practices.

Photo by Ryan Jacobson
Photo by Markus Spiske