The UK’s oak trees could be at a crossroads because of the threat of tree diseases, particularly in the Midlands, according to a BBC report.

The report quotes Keith Kirby from Natural England who raised concerns that Acute Oak Decline, which is affecting oaks in the Midlands and the South of England, may have a similar impact to Dutch Elm disease.

He said losing oaks could have a subsequent impact on woodland ecosystems.

Dr Kirby told the BBC that a disease which attacked oak was the most frightening for the country’s forests. But he said despite the uncertainty for oak, there was no need to panic.

Another disease, phytophthora ramorum, is also affecting British trees. The pathogen, also called “sudden oak death”, has not yet affected the British oak but has killed large swathes of Japanese larch – a commercial timber species – here.