Our White Paper on Ash Dieback Disease
Posted on : 29/10/2012 06:10:59
You will have read or heard about Ash dieback on the news and in the papers over the weekend. But to help you get the essential facts we've condensed the key points into a short guide with information to help identify and report it - which is so necessary to stop it spreading further.
Gilly has been catching up with our tree experts to find out the latest news and opinion. We will give updates to this story as necessary so keep checking here for our experts advice.
Kevin Croucher owner of Thornhayes Nursery in Devon, told Gilly " The Government has been sitting on their hands about this and ignoring expert advice from the Horticulture Trade Association and The Royal Forestry Society for 4/5 years. They were begged to ban imports of ash trees but they did nothing about it, now it could be too late. "
Kevin Croucher has been interviewed by BBC Radio 4's Farming Today programme which will be aired at 5.45am on Thursday 1st November.
Matt Hommel, Managing Director of Christie - Elite Nurseries, Nr Inverness, one of the countries specialist forestry nurseries had this to say;
"Clients should consider a risk assessed approach to planting ash rather than a risk averse approach (planting no ash at all). Chalara fraxinea is not the only serious disease affecting UK species. We must learn to manage our woodlands in the face of emerging disease & climate change - to simply stop planting a particular species is counterproductive. I believe in the longer term this issue will encourage buyers to take notice of where the trees they use come from. It is vital that consumers and buyers work with and support their nurseries.”
With the expert advice from Martin Howe of Wyekham Mature Plants, who was interviewed by Radio York on 28th October, we have created this useful guide to help gardeners and landscapers understand the issue and how they can help report cases.
Our 10 Key Facts about Ash dieback
We need to act quickly as the disease is normally spotted through the leaves but when they fall to the ground it is harder to detect and could leave the spores on the ground to spread further or go undetected - so we all need to act now.
1.The disease infects leaves, and then the bark and wood of the tree resulting in wilt from the crown down and eventual die back.
2. The significant risk of ash die back is that it has the potential to spread quickly with a high mortality rate.
3. It spreads mainly through spores that are blown in the air and secondly through contact with the spore where it has been picked up from a contaminated area – e.g. soles of boots, insects or possibly birds.
4. Scientists have found that the disease has been lying dormant in apparently healthy trees for several years and they are only now showing symptoms. The first signs were noticed in a batch of imported trees from Holland back in February.
5. Ash trees make up almost a third of all native deciduous woodland in Britain so the potential impact is huge. If it spreads it will change our landscape and could have a huge impact on wildlife habitats and our native flora and fauna, particularly in some of our most unique areas such as the Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales.
6. Already more than 50,000 ash trees have been destroyed in Britain to reduce the chance of the disease spreading further.
7. There is a ban on the import of ash trees from Monday 29th October, and also a restriction of movement of ash trees around the country.
8. Mountain Ash trees (Rowan, Sorbus) are not affected as they are in fact a member of the Roseacea family so are not actually a member of the Fraxinus/Ash tree family – so therefore unaffected.
9. Proposed legislation will prohibit import of ash trees, the movement of ash trees around Britain and the wood for logs from affected areas. Read the full proposed legal action on the Forestry Commission website, follow link under useful websites.
10. Contact one of our nurseries for expert advice about the disease or find out about alternatives to ash trees for your garden, landscaping project or estate. We have experts that can advise about most parts of the country so just click on the link to contact them.;
Matt Hommel - Christie- Elite Nursery , Nr Inverness,Scotland
Martin Howe - Wykeham Mature Plants, Yorkshire
Kevin Croucher - Thornhayes Nursery, Devon
How to identify and report the disease
Use this handy guide Ash dieback in pictures
From Monday 29th October there will be a new way to report cases and get all the latest updates - register now on www.ashtag.org
Keep up to date via Twitter #ashdieback @TimBriercliffe of the Horticulture Trades Association @WoodlandTrust @SaveOurWoods
Forestry Commission http://www.forestry.gov.uk/chalara
The Food and Environment Research Agency http://www.fera.defra.gov.uk/
Watch this You Tube videos to help identify the disease 'Life Cycle and Symptoms of Ash dieback/Chalara fraxinea’