New plan of action to tackle ash tree disease

The government has unveiled its new plan to tackle the ash tree disease Chalara after an emergency meeting this morning:

  • Newly-planted diseased trees and diseased trees in nurseries will be traced and destroyed, as once young trees are infected they succumb quickly
  • Mature trees will not currently be removed, as they are valuable to wildlife, take longer to die and can help us learn more about genetic strains that might be resistant to the disease. Infection does not occur directly from tree to tree
  • Better understanding of the disease will be built through research and surveys, which will look not only for diseased trees but for those that show signs of genetic resistance to Chalara
  • The search for the disease will include trees in towns and cities.

Foresters, land managers, environment groups and the general public will also be informed about how to identify diseased trees and those likely to be resistant to the disease, and know what to do if they find a diseased tree.