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What is Ash dieback?
Ash dieback is a fungus, which originated in Asia that affects the vascular system of ash trees inhibiting the tree’s ability to draw up nutrients into the upper branches. It is estimated that it will severely affect or kill around 80% of European Ash across the U.K
It was introduced to Europe about thirty years ago where it began to decimate our native Ash population, which has no natural defense against it. It is going to have a massive impact on our flora and fauna. The Ash dieback fungus wasn’t formally described until 2006, but is thought to have been around for some time before the symptoms became apparent. In the UK, ash dieback has had the most impact in the south-east of England although there is evidence of the disease throughout the U.K.
Common names: Ash dieback, chalara
Scientific name: Hymenoscyphus fraxineus
What does it affect?: Ash
Areas affected so far: The whole of the UK
Origin: Originally from Asia, arrived in the UK via Europe
Ash dieback diamond shape
What does Ash dieback look like?
Ash dieback can affect Ash trees of all ages. Younger trees succumb to the disease quicker but in general, all affected trees will have these symptoms:
- In the summer there will be a noticeable change in the leaves, which will develop dark patches and may then shrivel and discolour to brown/black.
- Lesions spots and cankers can appear on the bark. These are often diamond-shaped and dark brown/black.
- Inner bark looks brownish-grey under the lesions.
- New growth will appear from previously dormant buds further down the trunk. This is known as epicormic growth and is a common response to stress in trees.
Colour comparison of healthy and ash dieback
Ash trees are the third most common tree in Britain after oak and birch (there are 80 million ash trees in the UK)
If you are worried that your ash may be developing signs of ash dieback please contact Tree Monkey Tree Care Ltd on 07734779187 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for free advice.
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