Ash Dieback (Chalara fraxinea)

Ash Dieback (Chalara fraxinea)

The team at Tree and Woodland has been monitoring the current situation regarding Ash Dieback. Chalara dieback of ash is a serious disease of ash trees caused by a fungus called Chalara fraxinea (C. fraxinea). It causes leaf loss and crown dieback and can lead to tree death. The infection was found in a consignment of trees imported from a European nursery earlier this year. It has since been found in a number of locations which had received stocks of young ash plants within the last five years. Further cases have been confirmed in the nursery trade and in October FERA scientists confirmed a small number of cases in East Anglia in ash trees which do not appear to be associated with recently supplied nursery stock. Experts are currently surveying sites across the country to ascertain the extent of the infection and are due to report to the government this Wednesday.

C. fraxinea is being treated as a quarantine pest under national emergency measures. Owners and managers of woods are being urged to be vigilant and to report suspected cases immediately.

What should owners/managers of ash trees do?

Check trees and act quickly – Inspect ash trees frequently, especially any planted during the last five years.  Ensure you are familiar with the symptoms of Chalara dieback.

Report suspicious symptoms straight away

Buy carefully – Only buy new ash trees from reputable suppliers and specify disease-free stock. Do not purchase from countries where C. fraxinea is known to be present. Currently these are: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia and Switzerland.

Practice good plant hygiene and biosecurity – The Forestry Commissions ‘Biosecurity Guidance’ document outlines best practice thttp://www.forestry.gov.uk/pestsanddiseases.

Keep up to date – The Forestry Commission website is the best starting point for information:www.forestry.gov.uk/chalara. See also www.twitter.com/treepestnews and follow to receive updates quickly.

Symptoms to look for

   Forestry Commission and FERA videos are available at: 



Forestry Commission guides are also available at:




If you are in any doubt seek advice

What to do if you think you have the disease

If you think your ash trees have the disease you should report it to one of the following

Fera: 01904 465625;  planthealth.info@fera.gsi.gov.uk

Forestry Commission: 0131 314 6414;  plant.health@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

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