Forum home Wildlife gardening

Ash tree disease!

When we chose this house 18 months ago a primary attraction was the garden with two mature ash trees at the eastern end.  They have been a source of delight ever since we moved in, attracting so many birds, bats and insects, and making dancing shadows on our lawn in the sunlight.

We're so sad about the likely devastation of so many ash trees in the UK - I grew up in a village and on a farm both named after the ash, and it's always been special to me. One of my favourite pieces of music is the traditional song, The Ash Grove, and my favourite haunt as a child was in a little piece of ash woodland, watching the baby owls in the branches above me, and listening to the birds.

Living in Norfolk, apparently the disease has been identified quite close to here and although I try to be optimistic in most things, having been though the devastation of Dutch Elm Disease, I fear the worst.

There appears to be nothing we can do but worry and wait for the spring and summer, and ponder on what to replant with if the worst happens image

Is anyone else here in the same boat?

“I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 26,991

    Loss of ashes would alter the scene here. We had to remove a lot of the larger willows - too near the road and power lines and always dropping bits. That left ash as the dominant large tree in the main part of the garden. 

    Maybe it won't be as bad as dutch elm disease, we have to take into account the doom and gloom 'we're all gonna die' nature of news reporting. I'll remain hopeful for now, but perhaps plant some more field maples and scots pines.

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    There's an interesting page about that disease here:

    It's a report of a conference, about the disease, that was held in Olso, two years ago.

    At the bottom of the page they said that, at that time, the UK and Ireland were apparently free of the disease, and they recommended that we should not import trees coming from nurseries in infected areas: "For endangered areas which are not infested yet (UK, Ireland), the introduction or spread can be slowed down by preventing the spread associated with plants for planting. Plants for planting which are produced in nurseries outside infested areas pose a lower risk."

    That recommendation seems to have been ignored.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,779

    I heard the relevant Gov. Minister stating yesterday that the reason they didn't need to bring in a ban untl now was because "no one plants trees until the winter"!  Has no one told the government advisors that trees are imported in root bags throughout the year???   How out of date is their information re the horticultural industry??? image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • For many years people with a bit of sense in conservation organisations have recommended use of home-grown stock for planting schemes, but this has probably been largely ignored. The big contractors on civic schemes, motorway planting, etc will have followed the money and bought stock where it was readily available in large quantities and cheap. The price is now being paid.

    I could readily supply 400 ash saplings from the woodland in one of my gardens!

  • Is there any evidence that gm crops are related to this problem.
  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802
    Gareth 4 wrote (see)
    Is there any evidence that gm crops are related to this problem.


  • Alan4711Alan4711 Posts: 1,657

    i could not beleive the tv the other night when they informed us that this country actually send the seeds abroad to be grown then imports them back as saplins, How sad are we getting ,i can see many farmers crying out to take on such work if given the chance  and a bit of advise to halp start off,

  • Just wondered if anyone out there knows whether the Golden Ash is affected at all by this disease - we've been planning to plant one in memory of my Dad.

  • Karen, yes - as I understand it Golden Ash is likely to be susceptible to Chalara fraxinea image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

Sign In or Register to comment.