Chalara dieback: Bid to keep Ash tree disease out of Wales

Infected ash trees being destroyed in Leicestershire These ash trees in Leicestershire were affected by the fungus Chalara fraxinea

Related Stories

Woodland managers are being urged to check the health of recently planted ash trees as experts attempt to keep a disease out of Wales.

Chalara dieback is described as "a serious disease of ash trees" caused by a fungus called Chalara fraxinea.

Symptoms include leaf loss and crown dieback, and it can lead to the death of the tree.

The Forestry Commission is working with scientists from the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera).

The disease was recorded for the first time in Leicestershire earlier this year. It has since been found elsewhere in England and in Scotland.

A number of nurseries were also found to have the disease after infected plants had arrived from the The Netherlands, said the Forestry Commission.

John Browne, of Forestry Commission Wales, said: "We are urging those who have planted ash trees in the past five years to check on the health of these trees and to report any suspicious symptoms to us without delay.

Start Quote

The Chalara fungus has the potential to kill millions of ash trees”

End Quote John Browne Forestry Commission Wales

"We are working closely with Fera to trace ash planted in Wales in the past five years. Nursery inspections will also look very closely at ash and any infected specimens will be destroyed."

There is 15,348 hectares of ash in Wales which represents 5% of the 304,000 hectares of all woodlands in the country.

The species is important for its timber, firewood, wildlife, biodiversity and landscape benefits.

'Infected trees'

Mr Browne added: "The Chalara fungus has the potential to kill millions of ash trees if it spreads into the natural environment as it has done in Europe.

"In Denmark, for example, it has killed almost all the population of ash trees."

"Now that we know that Chalara fraxinea has entered the nursery trade in Britain, we believe more discoveries of infected trees are possible."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Wales stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine


  • Plane at Shannon airportShannon's call

    The airport that hosted a roll-call of presidents


  • Susanne du ToitTop 10 Tips

    Portrait painter Susanne du Toit on being an artist


  • Atletico's Diego Godin celebrates his goal with teammate David VillaWeek in pictures

    The best news photographs from around the world


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world

Programmes

  • Joe Ierardi playing a pianoClick Watch

    Meet the man trying to create the perfect digital piano - but is it as good as the real thing?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.