In recent weeks the press has been full of the news of the spread of ash die-back disease (Chalara fraxinea) and the full implications of the disease becoming all too horribly clear.
Vigilance is important
The main concentration of cases are in mature ancient forests in East Anglia, along the coast where easterly winds arrive from Scandinavia, but more outbreaks are being discovered on an almost daily basis. Gardeners are often at the front line of disease identification and eradication and vigilance is important if the full force of the disease is not to be felt here as it has in other countries. Denmark has already lost over 90% of its Ash population. Ash makes up around 30% of the UK’s tree cover, some 80million trees, and is a highly valuable part of the country’s ecosystem.
Symptoms of Chalara fraxinea
The Forestry Commission’s website has extensive guidance on the identification of the disease and how suspected cases should be reported. Go to www.forestry.gov.uk/chalara for more information.
Ash Tag website
Further information can be found at the Ash Tag website which includes an interactive map to show current geo photo reports. An interactive app called Ashtag is available free for both Android and iPhone users to help you identify and report suspected Ash Dieback disease. Visit www.ashtag.org for more information.