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ASH Dieback - Chalara Fraxinea

ash dieback fungus affecting the ash trees

Recently in the news there has been a lot reported on the problem of a fungus called Chalare Fraxinea affecting the Ash Trees in the UK. The consequences for the ash tree population in the UK could be catastrophic.

Ash trees make up approximately 30% of the total deciduous tree species in the UK, around 80 million trees, so if this disease spreads as much as predicted our woodlands will look dramatically different. Since the beginning of November this year there has already been around 100,000 trees destroyed because of the disease. It is thought that it may have been brought over to the UK in a consignment of Ash from the Netherlands. In Europe it has been widespread since first being reported in Poland in 1992. In Sweden it has affected 90% of the Nations ash trees.

The Forestry Commission have classed it as a ‘quarantine’ plant pathogen and now have taken steps to try to control the outbreak. The disease is particularly virulent in young trees however it has also been found on mature trees.

The disease can be spread by the wind, movement of the infected trees, logs, un sawn and untreated wood and even by human contamination. So vigilance and quick action is important to stop the progress of this disease.

Symptoms and what to look out for – Forestry Commission (pdf doc, 703kb)

News flash - 21 November 2012

East Lancashire has first case of Ash Dieback confirmed.

There has been reports of the disease being found in the east of the county, affecting young trees just recently planted.