Partners: Hugh Mortimer (RAL), Woodhall (Fera), Tubby (FR)
This project aims to develop a hyperspectral imaging based device for the early detection of disease in trees. As a case study for this development of this technique, the infection of Scots pine with Dothistromia Septosporum, red band needle blight, will be used. Dothistromia is a fungal disease which causes the needles of the infected trees to develop distinctive reddish-brown patches. Over time, this weakens the tree, lowering timber yields and in some cases causing tree death. It is a disease which is currently found in some areas of the UK but not throughout; bodies such as the forestry commission are trying to prevent the further spread of the disease through management of tree movements and early detection of diseased trees is crucial in preventing contamination in new areas. The development of an instrument which could be used for early detection or for identification of at risk trees is therefore particularly useful. Hence work from this work package plans to develop a small robust optical instrument based on hyperspectral or multispectral imaging that could be deployed in the field to aid in the identification of scots pine trees which are at risk and/or infected with Dothistromia.