Ash Dieback Confirmed in Open Countryside
Ash trees suffering from ‘Ash Dieback’, caused by an infection of the fungal pathogen Chalara fraxinea, have been discovered within the open countryside in East Anglia. The disease has devastated ash tree populations in Europe with some 90% of the trees being lost in Demark.
Symptoms of the disease where discovered in February 2012 at a nursery in Buckinghamshire which had imported ash trees from the Netherlands and was subsequently found at a number of sites throughout the UK where imported ash trees had recently been planted. The discovery of the fungus infecting trees within the open countryside is far more serious however, and has the potential to cause significant damage to our native ash tree population.
A reported 100,000 ash trees have already been destroyed in an attempt to halt the spread and a ban on imported ash trees came into affect on the 29th October 2012. The fungus is being treated as a quarantine pest under national emergency measures.
For up-to-date information on the spread of the disease and tips on how to spot the symptoms visit the Forestry Commission’s website http://www.forestry.gov.uk/chalara