As if ash trees didn’t have enough to worry about, now they’re under attack from a deadly fungus that has killed 90 percent of the trees in Denmark.
From the Guardian:
The tree disease Chalara fraxinea has already decimated around 90% of Denmark’s ash population and was found in the UK at a Buckinghamshire nursery in February, raising fears of a repeat of the epidemic of Dutch elm disease in the 1970s, which wiped out virtually the entire mature population of elm trees – 25m – by the 1990s.
Infected trees have since been found at a handful of locations in the UK from outside Glasgow to Cambridgeshire – though not in wild areas outside recent plantings and nurseries – and are being destroyed as they are found. Ash accounts for around a third of our wooded landscape which includes parks and hedgerows, as well as woods and forests.
A ban on imports could come into effect as early as November, just before the planting season, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said on Thursday, launching a consultation that ends on 26 October.
The environment secretary, Owen Paterson, said: “This disease could have a devastating impact on our native ash trees so we need to take action to stop it. We are working towards a ban on imports, and looking to impose movement restrictions on trees from infected areas.”