Planting Pesticide treated trees


Planting trees is hard work - and made harder by the fact that we plant them in the months when it would be much more comfortable to be sitting in a nice warm cab or office somewhere. But alongside the obvious issues of manual handling and dealing with the winter weather there are other, less obvious risks that need to be thought about carefully. 

Trees planted for forestry may be pre-treated with a pesticide product to protect the young saplings against attack by the pine weevil. If this is the case, it is important that whoever is managing the work or carrying out the planting takes some common sense measures to prevent workers getting pesticide on their skin or indirectly ingesting pesticide, for example when eating or smoking.

 Over the past few years, HSE has received reports of skin irritation from some workers who have been handling treated plants. These effects usually go away after a short time and shouldn't cause any serious health problems. However, the fact that some workers are reporting effects on their skin shows that, in these cases, the controls to prevent exposure just are not working properly. It is very important to remember that PPE will become contaminated with pesticide residues (that means it is working properly) and it is essential that workers do not touch exposed skin with contaminated PPE, such as gloves.

This article highlights some of the most important information that needs to be considered when planting treated trees.

Planting Pesticide Treated Saplings - Important Guidance

1. Training

All operators must have had appropriate training in how to carry out the tasks required

2. Planning

3. Personal Protective Equipment

4. Planting Pesticide-Treated Trees

5.   Taking a break or finishing work for the day

Further Information

HSE general guidance on Control of Substances Hazardous to Health