- 42 updates
Find out more about how ash tree disease could be affecting your area on our ITV regional sites.
Ash saplings that have been recently planted in Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland may have to be destroyed as some have signs of the fungal disease ash dieback.
Labour has criticised the Government for responding slowly to the ash tree crisis, after it emerged in a written answer ministers had been told about the presence of ash dieback in the UK in April.
Ash dieback disease has been reported at seven sites in Scotland according to a survey by Forestry Commission Scotland.
Environment & Climate Change Minister, Paul Wheelhouse said:
Ash dieback disease which threatening to devastate the UK's native ash trees has now been found in 115 sites, Defra has said.
The results of an intensive survey by hundreds of officials over the weekend and this week show:
- The disease has been found in 61 locations in the wider countryside, 39 planting sites and 15 tree nurseries.
- Cases of Chalara ash dieback have been confirmed in woodlands in six more counties - Sussex, Berkshire, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Bedfordshire and Northumberland.
- It had previously been identified in Norfolk, Suffolk, Kent and Essex countryside.
The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson is holding a summit today with representatives of industry, conservation groups and experts to discuss the problem.
The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson will today host a summit "to get the very best ideas on how to handle" ash dieback disease.
He told ITV News:
"Today is about the Ash Tree problem but we're already looking ahead and I have asked Ian Boyd, our senior scientific advisor, to set up a task force which is already under way on how to handle what appears to be an increasing problem of dangerous plant diseases which can threaten our environment.
Chalara ash dieback has been identified at 82 sites in the UK, including 32 cases in forests and woodlands.
Today's summit is expected to hear the latest update on the situation after hundreds of officials spent the weekend investigating sites for the disease.
The Government has been accused of being too slow to respond to the threat of the disease, but ministers insist they are taking the problem seriously and have brought in a ban on imports of ash trees.
Ash dieback is caused by the Chalara fraxinea fungus. The fungus causes leaf loss and crown dieback and can lead to tree death.
It is not known how the disease spreads, but it could be by insects or rain splash, over longer distances it is believed to be transferred by the movement of infected trees.
Symptoms of Chalara fraxinea can be visible on leaves, shoots and branches of affected trees and 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
Latest ITV News reports
Experts say little can be done to stop the spread of 'Ash dieback' the disease threatening to devastate the UK's ash trees.
One of the UK's biggest tree growers will seek damages from the government after losing thousands of trees to ash dieback disease.