British ash trees disease


This video from Britain is called Ash Tree – what to look for.

From Wildlife Extra:

Ash trees disease could have major repercussions for wildlife

Imports

Why on earth do we import ash trees from abroad anyway? There are an estimated 80 million in the UK, and they grow well and easily, what possible reason is there for importing ash trees, or many other species of plants and animals, from overseas?

RSPB reacts to Government ban on importing ash trees

October 2012. Ash dieback disease was first confirmed in Britain in February 2012 at a tree nursery in Buckinghamshire. The cases last week (26 October) at the Norfolk Wildlife Trust‘s Lower Wood reserve in Ashwellthorpe (an ancient woodland and a Site of Special Scientific Interest) and the Woodland Trust‘s Pound Farm woodland in Suffolk confirmed that the disease had spread into the wild.

Ash dieback disease is caused by the fungus Chalara fraxinea. It results in leaf loss and crown dieback in the affected trees and has the potential to devastate the ash tree population.

Lincolnshire

The Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust welcomes the ban on the import of ash trees but fears it may be too late to stop the disease from spreading.

Most of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust’s woodland nature reserves are noted as oak/ash woodlands with fine, mature examples of both species being found. A diverse range of insects and lichens are also found living on ash trees. The loss of ash trees in these woodlands, and in the wider countryside, will fundamentally change the character of our woodlands and landscape. Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust field staff are fully aware of the symptoms of the disease. But with the autumn leaf fall, tracking the disease is going to be difficult.

Martin Harper, the RSPB’s Director of Conservation, said: “Ash trees are the crowd pleasers of nature; they do a lot for all kinds of different animals and plants, from providing great roosting sites and warm holes to nest in, to perfect places to forage for food and ideal spots to flourish and grow. Birds, bats, fungi, plants, insects and more all use ash trees in one way or another meaning this disease has the potential to damage ecosystems in a big way.

“This is a stark reminder that non-native plants and animals can wreak havoc on already over-stressed habitats and native wildlife. While we welcome the Government’s ban on imports, it is not enough in itself. The EU is currently developing new international legislation on invasive non-native species and this is a major opportunity to prevent future problems. The big lesson here is that sometimes, strong environmental regulation is needed to protect all our interests.”

Ian Wright, plant health specialist at the National Trust said: “We welcome the Government’s ban on the import of ash trees into the UK. We are very concerned about what effect this disease will have on a key historic species – and on our landscapes.

“As well as the high risk for country wide losses, we are particularly concerned about the significant number of our older ash trees. Many, over 300 years old, grow on National Trust land. If this devastating disease took hold it would radically change some of our most special landscapes and places forever as well as the wildlife these ash trees support which includes rare lichens, bryophytes and invertebrates.

Detailed information on the disease and recognising the main symptoms can be found on the Forestry Commission website at www.forestry.gov.uk/chalara.

A nursery forced to destroy 50,000 ash trees after a fungal disease was found is considering taking legal action against the government for failing to block imports sooner: here.

10 thoughts on “British ash trees disease

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