Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ash dieback again

Below: a healthy (for how long?) coppiced ash.


Many people in the media still seem to be behind the times on ash dieback and continue to prattle on about Denmark and how the disease is widespread in Central Europe (home of Count Dracula etc.)

Chalara fraxinea had spread to north west France by 2009 and Belgium since at least 2010. For more detail see:

The Forestry Commission map of Chalara outbreaks ignores the very significant fact that the disease is widespread in the bit of France shown bottom left just opposite the Kent outbreaks See:

Surely it is pointless to 'take action' of whatever kind here when spores will keep arriving from Europe unless the disease declines of its own accord. I continue to read of hundreds of people scouring the countryside for infected trees, but it is not quite clear what they do when they find them. Do they destroy the whole thing, roots and all, and hoover the entire woodland floor or length of hedge for any spore carrying leaves?

Are these hundreds of people volunteers, long-term employees of someone, or recent recruits? Have they stopped doing their proper job? Whenever hundreds are involved there is usually a significant cost. Is it worth it?

Another piece of data that seems to have lain undiscovered is that ash dieback was added to the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organisation's (EPPO) alert list in 2007. They said: "Because ash dieback could represent a serious threat to forest, amenity and nursery ash trees, the EPPO Secretariat decided to add C. fraxinea to the EPPO Alert List in 2007." The UK has been a member of EPPO since 1951 but seemingly ignored this warning.  See:

I think I am suffering with Roper dieback.

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