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.

Trees For Dorset



Autumn – Winter 2018/19


Friday 5 October  Visit to woodlands still owned by the Hoare family – managed for timber and conservation.

10.15am – meet in entrance National

Trust Car Park pm. Stourhead Gardens. Tea, lunch at Stourhead

– picnic or Spread Eagle Inn or Red Lion Pub

Monday 15 October  Talk by Dr Charles Hill on Woodlands.

7.00pm for 7.30pm His book "For the Love of Trees" will be launched at this event

Dorford Centre,


(Opp. Top ‘O Town car park)

Thursday 22 November Talk by Ian Mortimer “The State of Badgers in woods at present”.

7.00pm for 7.30pm Dorford Centre, Dorchester (Opp. Top ‘O Town car park)

Possible Fungal Foray   with "Wool Flora and Fauna Group” if interested phone 01929 462423

24 November – 2 December 2018 – National Tree Week

Saturday 24 November or Saturday 1 December ( Date to be confirmed)

Tree Planting at Winterbourne Zelston, off the (A31) Wimborne/Bere Regis road.

Park at Hill Top Barn, (Grid Ref: 897977, Sheet 195)


Saturday 26 January Tree Planting to be arranged at Wynford Eagle north of Dorchester

more details to follow

Friday 22 February Quiz Night and Supper, Winfrith Village Hall

7pm (doors open 6.30pm) (Grid Ref: 805845, Sheet 194)

Tuesday 26 February Trip to “Hooke Park”, Beaminster to learn about their work. 2.30pm Tree sculpture and workshop demonstrations

Friday 15 March Annual General Meeting, Town Hall, Dorchester,

7.00pm for 7.30pm Guest Speaker, John Stokes of the Tree Council

A lot of time and effort goes into preparing as interesting a programme as possible.

Please show your appreciation by supporting it.

For more information please contact Rachel Palmer on 01929 462423