Fungus attacks European ash trees

A deadly fungus has decimated Denmark's ash trees and may lead to import restrictions.

  • October 5, 2012
  • The Guardian (U.K.)

Imports of ash trees could be banned to save the U.K.'s estimated 80 million of the species from a deadly fungus.

The tree disease Chalara fraxinea has already decimated around 90 percent of Denmark's ash population and was found in the U.K. 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 – 25 million – by the 1990s.

Infected trees have since been found at a handful of locations in the U.K. 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.

Click here to read the full article.