What is Ash Dieback and what do you need to do about it?

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Over the past few years, you have likely heard the term, Ash Dieback. Unless you have an Ash Tree in your garden or have noticed the recent increasing effects this disease is wreaking on Ash trees in your area, you may or may not have given it much thought.

So far it has had the most impact in the South of England. However, as the Spring and Summer arrived this year, it’s clear the North is becoming significantly more affected. As the other trees turn green and come to life again, evidence that this disease is not going anywhere, is apparent.

Simply put, Ash Dieback (also called Chalara) is a disease affecting Ash Trees cause by a fungus (called Hymenoscyphus). It is a very slow progressing, generally untreatable disease. It’s said to have arrived in Europe on imported commercial trees from Asia. Spreading across Europe, and first having been official identified in the UK in 2012.

With up to 120 million Ash Trees in the UK, this disease could have major ramifications on this species of trees. Affecting clean air, water, the many species of birds and insects that rely on Ash Trees as part of their natural habitat.

How do I know if my tree has Ash Dieback?

Symptoms of Ash Dieback to look out for include:

  • Dark brown or orange spots on the leaves
  • Wilting Leaves
  • Crown Dieback – the upper branches or branch tips dying off
  • Bark lesions (lesions also on branches).
  • Weakening of the tree, leaving it open to other diseases
Ash leaves ash dieback
Ash bark ash dieback

What do I need to do if I think my tree has Ash Dieback?

Your first point of call should be to get in touch with an Arborist. It’s important to be sure your Ash Tree has contracted ADB before any action is taken, therefore correct diagnosis is vital. There are short term options that could be considered in an attempt to lengthen the lifespan or allow potentially tolerant trees to resist the disease. By increasing light, airflow and reducing the damp conditions, your Ash Tree may be given a chance to fight it off.

If the Ash Tree is diagnosed with ADB and it has spread to around 50% of the tree however, it’s very unlikely that the Tree will survive. In these cases, it would eventually need to be removed. The removal must be done very carefully and properly to ensure minimising the exposure and risk of spreading the disease to other species in the same family.

If you are concerned your Ash Tree may have been affected, please get in touch and we’d be happy to set up a consultation and assessment – Call Andrew on: 07936411790 or 01228 561745.

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