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Last Updated: Friday January 07 2011 12:20 GMT

Deadly sudden oak death tree disease attacks UK

Tree being chopped down

A deadly disease that's been attacking thousands of trees across the west of England is spreading faster than feared, say officials.

Sudden oak death has led to entire woodlands in Devon and Cornwall being chopped down to try to contain the disease, but now it's hit Somerset too.

The disease is spread by the wind and can affect different tree species.

There's no known cure for sudden oak death, which has also killed millions of trees in America.

It's thought the disease has come from America, but now landowners in the UK are being asked to contact the Forestry Commission if they think one of their trees might be infected.

As well as Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, infections have also been reported in Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.