Did you know that ash dieback has the power to kill almost 80% of ash trees around the UK? If this keeps on happening at a rapid rate then the effect on climate change and the environment will be devastating. As well as that, species that rely on these ash trees will also come under threat.
So, let’s understand what it is, what causes it, and the steps you can take if your tree is infected.
What Is Ash Dieback?
This is a disease that is commonly found in ash trees. The cause of it is a fungus named Hymenoscyphus fraxineus. The origin of this fungus lies in Asia. However, it traveled to the UK through Europe.
It has been a problem for ash trees in the UK for almost thirty years now as the native ash species did not evolve with this harmful fungus. This means that the trees don’t have any defense to protect themselves against it.
Symptoms Of Ash Dieback
Ash dieback has the power to affect any and every tree. It can also affect trees of every age. However, the younger the tree is the easier it will succumb to this disease. An infected ash tree will show the following symptoms:
- Black blotches appear on the leaves
- Lesions will appear on stems and branches
- The inner bark will have discoloration and turn grey or brown
- Leaves may start shedding early
- Dieback of shoots
- You will notice epicormic growth
If an ash tree is showing any of these symptoms then it means that it is infected by the fungus.
What You Can Do About Ash Dieback
While there is not much you can do after the tree has been infected, here are some other steps you can take to minimise it from spreading to other trees:
#1. Report It To Relevant Authorities
If you suspect that your tree is infected with ash dieback then you should report it to the relevant plant health authorities. They will let you know the steps to take or they will handle it themselves.
#2. Prevent Spore Dispersal
You have to prevent other trees from becoming infected with ash dieback. To do this, the Forestry Commission recommends that you cover the leaves with 4 inches of soil and leave it undisturbed for at least a year.
#3. Responsible Disposal
You have to dispose of the material of the infected tree responsible. Follow the guidelines set out by the Forestry Commission to dispose of it in the right way and prevent the disease from spreading to other trees.
It is important to understand this disease so you can take the required steps to prevent it from spreading. It is a serious problem but with the right care, the disease can be stopped from infecting other trees and ruining your outdoor area.
If you have a tree with ash dieback and you need professional help then feel free to get in touch with us now. We will be more than happy to assist you.