NEWS Chalara dieback of ash in Great Britain. You'll probably have seen in the press or on television or heard on radio that there is a serious fungal disease of ash trees that has appeared in Britain probably brought from continental Europe where the disease has caused the widespread death of ash. Articles in papers such as the Sunday Times have called it a threat equivalent to the outbreak of the virulent Dutch Elm disease in the 1960s and 70s but as ash occurs in both woodland and hedges, unlike elm that was more common in hedges, the potential change to our landscape is much greater.
The disease causes leaf loss and crown dieback. Unfortunately the symptoms for Chalara may also be caused by other ash problems; physical damage, other fungi and a bud moth as well as frost damage so viewing the pictures on the F.C. website is essential. We need to be very vigilant about the disease it seems to be spreading fast although at the moment its nearest point to us is just north of Watford it could easily and rapidly spread though the mechanism for this is not yet understood. The Forestry Commission are treating the disease very seriously and will use statutory plant health notices to enforce its control as well as prevent movement of ash seeds and plants. The Forestry Commission has produced information sheets and a pictorial guide to the symptoms of the disease caused by a fungus called Chalara fraxinii and these are available at www.forestry.gov.uk/England – Chalara. To report the disease the number for the Forestry Commission is 0117 3721070. Ash dieback progress. The University of Exeter and a consortium of other universities and organisations in the UK and in Europe have been granted money for research on the fungus that causes Ash dieback. This research will examine the genes of Ash trees to find out how susceptible and resistant trees differ, the interaction between the fungus and trees and help develop effective control strategies. At present little is known about the fungus and why it is so aggressive. The aim is to get research underway very quickly so the results can be applied to help save our third most common broadleaf tree. It is hoped this research might also help understand fungal diseases affecting a range of trees and other plants. 2019 It looks as if in 2019 we will see a major loss of Ash trees in Dorset as many are already showing poor development of new leaves. It is estimated that up to 80% of ash trees will be lost but if 20% survive they will hopefully be resistant to the fungus and will in time the off spring of these will replace the losses. Dont fell ash before they show signs of the disease as they may be among the resistant ones!
Trees For Dorset
TREES FOR DORSET Programme AUTUMN/WINTER 2019/2020 Sat 12 Oct  Trip to the New Forest, Burley – south edge of South Oakley enclosure, near Lucy Hill Fri 25 Oct Hill Car Park on the north side of the road NGR SU226046. Ancient oaks and fungi. Please keep both dates free if possible – we can choose best weather, eg for fungi. Following postponement of this because of the weather we hope to rearrange it in the early part of November. Contact Rachel for details. Wed 13 Nov Talk by Anna Lewington “The Bounty of Birches” (a much undervalued tree), 7.30pm the Dorford Centre, Dorchester. Use The Keep car park opposite the Dorford Centre. Sat 23 Nov Planting at Winterborne Kingston playing fields. Signposted; 10.30am to 3pm please bring spade and trowel. Soup provided on request. Mon 9 Dec Talk on “Trees for Bees” including input by a beekeeper and Honey for sale. 7pm for 7.30pm at the Dorford Centre, Dorchester 2020 Jan/Feb Tree Planting – to be arranged. Please check website. Mon 3 Feb Talk by Tony Warne “Why Plant Trees” 7pm for 7.30pm in Winterborne Kingston Village Hall. Wed 11 March AGM, Dorchester Town Hall followed by an illustrated talk and display of 7pm paintings by Gary Cook, Arts Editor of The Ecologist and member of the Society of Graphic Fine Arts (Some paintings will be available for purchase) For more information please contact Rachel Palmer on 01929 462423
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