Updated: Oct 8, 2021
Two significant weeping ash trees stand proudly in the gardens of Armstrong Cottages. I am so disappointed to discover that there are no seeds this year on these two, as I was hoping to be able to grow some children from them.
They will be weeping, along with many other ash trees, as the fungal disease, Ash Dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) attacks and devastates them.
This terrible disease is now affecting the ash trees in the whole of the UK.
The symptoms are easily spotted - the trees develop dark patches on the leaves, which then wilt, and may shed early. Small lesions appear in the bark. The wood turns a greyish brown colour. Dieback in the shoots and in the leaves is easily seen during the summer.
"Ash dieback will kill around 80% of ash trees across the UK. At a cost of billions, the effects will be staggering. It will change the landscape forever and threaten many species which rely on ash." Woodland Trust.
I really recommend this video by the Forestry Commission: Plant Health Webinar: Ash Dieback - YouTube
I particularly like the comment under this video by Simon Masters:
1. "Don't Panic" meta directive
2. Clarity of the speaker on"retain if practically possible" "do not fell for phytosanitary reasons" "only fell to secure existing timber value"
3. Unless these specific messages reach foresters in the UK we appear to be rushing towards yet another forestry industry clusterf**k on the scale of biomass.
4. Perception of best practice in our industry is misplaced. This video is a good effort at remediating misconceptions that exist.
The government has issued guidance on what to do if trees on your land show signs of this cruel disease: