Ash dieback: Research, funding and policy news – 5 November 2014

5th Nov 2014

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The key to survival

The latest Forestry Commission assessment of the spread of ash dieback (caused by the fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, previously called Chalara fraxinea) shows a consolidation of the wider environment outbreaks in the North East and North West, with the “front” continuing to move towards the West across the entire country – perhaps more slowly than some earlier predictions. There are lots of possible explanations for this, not least that the disease hasn’t had much press coverage lately – people simply aren’t looking for it.

 

Tree-rotting disease takes hold in Lancashire

There are fears the tree disease ash dieback could be taking a stronger hold in Lancashire. The Forestry Commission said the North West is among the worst areas in the country for the disease, especially in the Forest of Bowland.

 

Ash Dieback Epidemic Forecast In Kent

By 2018, more than 75% of ash trees in Kent will be infected by ash dieback, with a similar percentage of ash in Sussex affected, according to modelling published in the Government’s tree health management plan. Ash is the most abundant species in Kent, making up around a fifth of the county’s trees.


Garlic injection could tackle tree diseases

Injecting trees with a concentrated form of garlic might help save trees in the UK from deadly diseases. Operating under an experimental government licence, a prototype piece of technology to administer the solution is being trialled on a woodland estate in Northamptonshire.

 

AshStat – updated ash dieback disease statistics in Britain

Silviculture Research International is tracking the emergence and spread of ash dieback disease (Chalara fraxinea) in Britain. The AshStat graphic is updated regularly, with data taken from Forestry Commission Plant Health reports.

 

Introduction of Mandshurian ash (Fraxinus mandshurica Rupr.) to Estonia: Is it related to the current epidemic on European ash (F. excelsior L.)?

Recent investigations in Japan have suggested that the causal organism of the ongoing epidemic affecting European ash (Fraxinus excelsior) in Europe, Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus, may originate in East Asia. The fungus may have been unintentionally carried to Europe during the introduction of Mandshurian ash (F. mandshurica), the host tree of the fungus in East Asia. Still unicentric emergence hypothesis is in force: An area in the eastern Poland or Baltic has been shown to be the presumed epicentre of the epidemic. Really, during the Soviet occupation, several consignments of F. mandshurica seeds and plants, originating directly from the natural range of F. mandshurica in East Asia (Russian Far East), reached Baltic areas. In this paper, an overview about the Mandshurian ash is presented, the history of introduction of F. mandshurica to Estonia is reviewed and colonization of F. excelsior in this country by H. pseudoalbidus is briefly discussed. At present, we could not find any evidence, spatial or temporal, for a direct connection of the disease emergence on native F. excelsior with the introduction of F. mandshurica. The pathogen first colonized northwest Estonia and moved southeast and not from south to north as would be expected according to the hitherto existing unicentric hypothesis. However, more information is needed from different regions before to pose a multicentric emergence hypothesis and to deepen more into the investigations of the environmental factors that affected the host and supported to the epidemic in different areas.

 

New warning that 80% of ash trees could die

There’s a new warning that the deadly ash dieback disease is still causing devastation in the countryside and woodland. The Chalara fraxinea fungus which causes it was first found in the wild in Norfolk two years ago, before cases sprang up around the country. Scientists say that up to 80% of all ash trees could be lost.

 

Recent post on the OpenAshDieback crowdsourcing hub:

Comment: Ash pathogen Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus renamed Hymenoscyphus fraxineus

 

It’s a do or die situation in this clash of the ash

Teagasc researchers will counter ash dieback disease by crossing Asian and Irish species.

 

Observatree – coming spring 2015!

Observatree is an exciting conservation partnership project, harnessing the power of citizen science to establish a new tree health early warning system. Working together with the public,

 

Meeting report: European Workshop on Chalara

Cost Action FP 1103, Fraxback 16–18 September 2014, Palanga, Lithuania

 

If you have details of meetings, research, funding or policy news on ash dieback that you would like circulating, please email us.

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