Ash Dieback Disease Alert

The latest on the threat of Ash Dieback disease in the Midlands which could infect and destroy millions of trees across the country.

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Ash tree disease found in four Midlands locations is "potentially devastating"

The disease that some people fear could wipe out most of our country's ash trees, has now been found in four parts of the Midlands. Ash dieback has today been officially confirmed in Shropshire.

And a nursery in Warwickshire has revealed that the disease has been confirmed in one of its saplings. It's already been detected near Leicester and in north Lincolnshire.

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Ban to stop tree disease, full report

One of the country's most iconic trees has been given a life-line after the Government placed a ban on the import of ash trees to try and stop a disease from spreading.

The Environment Secretary made the announcement in Staffordshire this afternoon. The deadly fungus has already been found in Leicestershire and parts of Lincolnshire, and there are fears if it spreads, it could wipe out ninety per cent of the trees.

Import ban to stop a "potentially economical and environmental disaster"

Ash dieback or Chalara fraxinea is a fungus which has killed 90% of Denmark's Ash trees Credit: ITV Central

A ban has been announced by the Government on the importation of ash trees after outbreaks of a disease which could wipe out millions of native Ash trees across the country.

Ash dieback or Chalara fraxinea is a fungus which has killed 90% of Denmark's Ash trees.

The Government announced a ban today on the importation of ash trees to try and stop the spread of disease Credit: ITV Central

Fears are growing that it could wreak the same kind of damage as Dutch Elm disease in the 1970s.

Ash trees are part of Britain's heritage, to lose them would be an ecological disaster Credit: ITV Central
It is hoped the import ban will stop the disease spreading which has already seen 500 trees destroyed in the Midlands Credit: ITV Central

Chalara dieback is easier to spot before the end of autumn as it can be identified from damaged leaves.

Nottinghamshire fight to save ash trees

Following the Government announcement of a ban on ash tree imports Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust has said its plans to extend woodland where the native tree once thrived is even more important.

“We are currently trying to raise £15,000 as part of a £65,000 project to protect the future of Treswell Wood, near Retford, by purchasing land adjacent to the woodland so that can allow an area that was once part of this important woodland to regenerate naturally.

"This threat to Ash woodland underlines the importance of our efforts to protect this and other woodlands across Nottinghamshire and we are now even more determined to do everything we can to safeguard the future of one of the finest examples of a traditionally managed Ash/oak Woodland in the Midlands.”

– Charles Langtree, Head of Estate Management and Develop for the Trust

Government announce ban on ash tree imports to combat killer disease

A ban on the import of ash trees has been announced by Environment Secretary Owen Paterson.

The disease called ash dieback has already affected trees in England and Scotland with nearly 500 trees destroyed in Leicestershire during August. It is feared native varieties could be wiped out.

“This is a very serious disease that demands action to stop its spread. I have ordered both an import ban and movement restrictions on trees from infected areas. This comes into force immediately.

“Work is already underway to tackle the disease. Plant Health Authorities have been monitoring trees in infected areas to ensure early detection and trade bodies have been encouraging their members to impose voluntary import bans. By working together we can protect our native trees from this devastating disease.”

– Owen Paterson MP

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What exactly is 'Ash Dieback'?

Ash dieback is caused by the Chalara fraxinea fungus. The fungus attacks the growth of leaves, particularly at the tree's crown,and can be fatal.

90% of all Ash trees in Denmark have been killed by the fungus in seven years, and the disease is spreading through Central Europe.

Scientists are yet to find out how the disease spreads, but experts think it it could be by insects or rain splash.

Over longer distances it is believed to be transferred by the movement of infected tree; hence today's ban on imports.

Symptoms of Chalara fraxinea include:

  • In severe cases, the entire crown shows leaf loss and dieback
  • There may be the formation of dormant shoots under the bark on branches and the trunk
  • Foliage Leaves can suffer from wilting and black-brownish discoloration

Environment Secretary due in Staffordshire to make Ash disease announcement

Autumn colours as Ash trees face a threat from Europe Credit: PA

The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson is due to visit Cannock Chase in Staffordshire later concerning today's ban on imported Ash trees from Europe.

It's after outbreaks of a disease which it's feared could wipe out millions of native Ash trees across the country.

Ash dieback or Chalara fraxinea is a fungus which has killed 90% of Denmark's Ash trees.

Fears are growing that it could wreak the same kind of damage as Dutch Elm disease in the 1970s.

Ash trees under threat of killer disease

Importing ash trees from abroad will be banned from today Credit: ITV Central

Importing ash trees from abroad will be banned from today. It is thought they are bringing in disease, and could wipe out native ash trees.

In August, 500 infected trees in Leicestershire had to be removed, because of an outbreak at a car park.

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