The Blot on the Landscape that is Ash Dieback

ash dieback - picture of diseased leafThe BBC reported today that Ash Dieback has been found in three locations in Derbyshire, prompting fears that it could have a devastating effect on the established woodland of the Peak District. See the full report from the BBC.

The disease, also known as Chalara fraxinea is a fungal disease.  The Forestry Commission has reported the outbreak as a ‘big concern’ because the spores spread easily from area to area making the disease difficult to contain.

Ash Dieback causes leaf loss and crown die-back in the affected trees and can lead to the death of the tree. The death of Ash trees could have a catastrophic effect on the wildlife and plant life that the tress support. Since it was first discovered in October 2012, 500 outbreaks have been discovered throughout the UK and the disease affects trees of all ages. Ash Die-back is not contained to just our woodlands but can appear in urban areas; in parks and gardens, and has even been located in young trees in nurseries.

How to spot Ash Die-back

Leaves

Become wilted, discoloured and then die. Leaf veins, which are usually pale in colour, turn brown.

Shoots

Dark lesions appear at the base of dead shoots. The tips of shoots darken and shrivel.

Trunk

Dark lesions which are often long and diamond shaped appear on the trunk.

Crown

In mature trees, branches and twigs begin to dieback.

Epicormic Shoots

Epicormic shoots or suckers are leafy shoots that grow towards the base of the trunk – often a sign that a tree is under attack from a pest or disease.

If you suspect Ash Dieback do not treat it yourself. Call in an expert who can properly diagnose, treat and advise you of the best approach. More information about Ash Dieback can be found on the Woodland Trust website

If you have any concerns about the health of any of your trees on your property call us on 01484 500005