Ash Dieback Resource Guide

Ash trees were first recorded dying in large numbers from what is now believed to be ash dieback in Poland in 1992; from here it quickly spread to other European countries. Despite this rapid spread it took until 2006 before Chalara fraxinea, the fungus’ asexual stage, to be described by scientists. The sexual stage of the fungus, Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus, was only described as recently as 2010.  Originally the disease was thought to have entered Britain on plants from nurseries based in Continental Europe; but older trees that appear to have no relation to trees supplied by nurseries have been found with the disease in East Anglia, Kent, and Essex. This could mean the disease made its way to Britain by natural means; such as spores being carried on the wind, or birds flying into Britain from Europe; the infection could even have been spread unwittingly by humans carrying it on their clothes or vehicles, although the probability of this is low.

In February 2012 a batch of trees coming from the Netherlands to a nursery in Buckinghamshire was confirmed to be infected. In October of the same year it was confirmed a small number of cases in Norfolk and Suffolk had been found in the wider natural environment, including woodland with no ties to supplied nursery stock. From here the disease rapidly spread throughout woodland in Britain, with 462 confirmed cases as of April 2013. However in late March scientists from the John Innes Centre teamed up with a group of Danish researchers to try and quell the disease by breeding two seemingly resistant trees found in Denmark, providing a glimmer of hope for the future of British woodland.

General Information (List of pests and diseases in the UK) (Ash dieback spotters guide) (New Scientist’s introduction to the disease) (Information about the disease, including European distribution information) (News story about the government’s plan to plant 250,000 ash trees to help find a resistant gene) (The Royal Forestry Commissions reaction to the £1.5 million research project to identify chalara resistant trees) (The website of a multinational group of scientists sharing knowledge to help understand and sustainably manage the disease) (Information from the European Commision about a new detection system) (Edinburgh Scientists predict the disease could destroy enough ash trees to fill Wembley stadium 16 times over) (Background into the disease, as well as tree planting and the plant trade) (The implications for lichens as ash dieback spreads)

The Governments Management Plan

Nordic and Baltic Information (Article detailing how the disease has affected Polish forests)

Videos (A history of ash dieback) (Life cycle and symptoms)

Information and Genomic Resources (A hub for crowdsourcing information)

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