Ash Die-Back Disease

Following the discovery of Chalara fraxinea or “ash die-back” in mature woodland in Suffolk the government has banned all imports of live ash trees. The disease causes leaf loss and crown dieback in affected trees, and can lead ultimately to tree death. It has the potential to kill millions of ash trees if it becomes widely established in Britain. Ash makes up to 40% of our native woodland in some areas, so it is vital that any new instances of the disease are reported to the Forestry Commission as a matter of urgency.

What are the symptoms?

  • Black/brown discolouration of the leaf base and midrib
  • Small lens shaped lesions or black spots on the bark of stems and branches
  • Trees with withered tops and shoots

A full guide is available online from the Forestry Commission: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/pest-alert-ash-dieback-2012.pdf/$FILE/pest-alert-ash-dieback-2012.pdf

For updates from the Forestry Commission visit: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/chalara

What should I do?

  • If you have responsibility for a churchyard or any other wooded area, or you live in a property provided by the Diocese that has ash trees, read the Forestry Commission guide and make an inspection of your trees as soon as possible
  • If you find signs of the disease take photographs and contact the diocesan buildings and glebe department immediately:

For churchyards and consecrated land: Natalie Merry – natalie.merry@oxford.anglican.org or 01865 208229

For glebe land and vicarage/rectory gardens: Tony Kerry – tony.kerry@oxford.anglican.org or 01865 208292

If you find no signs of infection this does not mean that your trees will remain unaffected in the long term. Monthly inspection is recommended until further guidance is received from the government.

2 replies
  1. Matt Freer says:

    You can also help identify ash trees in danger using your phone:

    If you have a smartphone or a digital camera, it’s simple. If you spot an ash tree with signs of the disease, take a photo and send it in using the http://www.ashtag.org website or the AshTag app on your mobile phone.

    If you have an iPhone you can download the AshTag app by searching the App Store on your phone for “AshTag” or by clicking here:
    https://itunes.apple.com/app/ashtag/id574320875?mt=8

    If you have an Android phone search for “AshTag” in the Google Play store from your phone or use this link:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.iasess.ashtag

    If you don’t have a smartphone you can take a digital photo and upload it onto the website here: http://www.ashtag.org

    Reply

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