Ash dieback ‘may not be as bad’

by Bethany Day on October 28, 2013

ash treesJust one in 10 trees at a UK plantation is showing any sign of the ash dieback disease, despite trees in that area having had it for five years longer than others in the country, according to the National Trust.

The survival rate is greater than expected, with some having had the disease for almost a decade. The results suggest potential for slowing the spread of ash dieback in UK forests.

Only 10% of the 6,000 ash trees in the Holnicote plantation in Somerset are showing signs of the disease, also known as chalara fraxinea, the trust says.

The disease is also present in another plantation nearby but has not spread any further.

This runs contrary to government predictions that chalara fraxinea would spread further and infect many more trees.

“Whilst we don’t want to be too optimistic on the basis of this one outbreak, this does confirm the view we’ve held from the outset that it is worthwhile removing infected trees in order to try to slow the spread, especially in places like this so far from the main area of the disease in the South East.” said Dr Simon Pryor, natural environment director at National Trust.

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Bethany Day

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