We’ve put together these beginner’s guide to ash dieback and some information and guidance as a tree owner. It includes;
What is ash dieback?
Ash dieback is a fungus (chalara) which is devastating our native European ash trees. It was first found in 2012, originally from Asia, and is easily spread by wind. It is expected to take out around 80% of the UK ash tree population which will be significant given ash trees are the third most comment trees in the UK and make up much of the parks, gardens, woodlands and hedgerows.
How to recognise ash dieback
Symptoms in young trees are a little easier to spot but less so for mature trees. Usually, leaves will develop dark patches before they wilt and go black, often being shed a little early in the season. Branches can look bare, having lost their leaves, and dark patches form on the trunk.
Tree owners responsibility
Law states it is the land/tree owners responsibility for the health and condition of the trees, the safety risk for any people affected and the risk of any potential damage to buildings or property. Speak to your local tree officer or a professional tree company for the management of the trees, potentially reducing the risk of failure. This is likely to be by coppicing, pollarding, deadwood removal etc.
The future and our ash trees
It has been found that a very small proportion of ash trees have what’s called ‘genetic tolerance’ which means they will likely survive the fungus and go on to reproduce to create the next generation of trees. It is therefore important that tree owners understand the impacts of ash die dieback and ensuring that trees with genetic tolerance are protected for future generations.