Forestry officials have confirmed the Chalara fraxinea fungus, which causes ash trees to gradually wither and die, has been found at three new sites in young trees in Wales.

The cases are the first to be identified since the start of the winter, as the symptoms of the disease, which threatens to devastate Britain’s 80 million ash trees, become hard to spot in trees once they lose their leaves.

The number of cases to be found in Britain stands at 386 since it was first discovered last February, with 170 of these in mature established woodland.

All the trees at the three sites, which had been supplied by a nursery previously found to be infected with the fungus, were destroyed. Testing has suggested around 10 per cent of ash tree sites are infected.

Scientists have also found that infected trees were being imported into Britain from elsewhere in Europe as early as 2008 – far earlier than believed previously.

“In the case of Chalara, it’s very important to make sure you don’t inadvertently move ash leaves, living or dead, around the countryside.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/9904591/Ash-dieback-found-in-three-new-sites-in-first-infections-of-the-year.html

 

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