b Spread


There is a small hope that unique British races of the species—isolated from continental Europe 8,500 years ago—may prove unusually resistant to the blight.

During the 19th century, as global trade increased exponentially, so did the incidence of tree blights. In the early 20th century, after rich countries instituted biosecurity regimes, the growth rates slowed, and in America, at least until recently, remained fairly linear. But in Europe, around 1960, the infection rate picked up, very likely due to the trade-boosting effect of economic integration. This not only spread diseases around the continent itself. It also made the law-abiding countries of northern Europe, such as Britain, susceptible to the sloppier customs regimes of the continent’s southern fringe.

http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21580459-arboreal-confirmation-britain-european-country-european-problems-unquiet-woods?fsrc=rss|btn

A seven-acre section of woodland near Bickleigh belonging to farmer John Greenslade has been decimated by the disease, and a major programme to uproot and destroy affected trees is under way.

Mr Greenslade began planting Byway Woods 20 years ago and has won awards for it.

Thousands of mature, native ash trees are being dug up and burned after the devastating disease ash dieback was confirmed in Devon.

About 2,000 trees at Byway Farm near Tiverton are affected, according to the Forestry Commission.

This is the first confirmed case of the disease in mature, native trees in the region – another nine cases have been confirmed in young trees that have been recently planted at sites across Devon and Cornwall, including two sites on Dartmoor National Park, according to Forestry Commission figures.

Ben Jones, of the commission’s England plant protection team, said: “It appears that the affected trees had the disease when they were planted in 1996-97. It is concerning and we are continuing our investigations into how the spread had taken place and how far it has spread.”

http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/Trees-burned-infection-ash-dieback/story-19481835-detail/story.html

Ash dieback has been found in mature trees for the first time in Wales.

The infected trees were discovered in Ferryside, Carmarthenshire, by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) staff last week.

Until now the Chalara dieback in Wales had been confined to newly planted sites in trees from nurseries known to hold infected stock.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-22516757

AROUND 60 per cent of the UK’s ash woodlands infected by a fungus could be wiped out within a decade, a study by the University of Edinburgh shows.

Scientists estimated that 90 per cent of Britain’s 126 million ash trees will become infected, causing ash dieback.

Dr Dave Reay of the university’s school of geosciences, who conducted the research, said the loss of a large volume of trees by the wind-blown fungus, Chalara, could also aggravate the effects of climate change.

http://www.scotsman.com/the-scotsman/environment/fungus-could-kill-60-of-infected-ash-woodlands-by-2023-1-2905550

The fast-track research funding has been awarded to gather an in-depth understanding of the ash dieback fungus and to provide genetic clues about some ash trees’ natural resistance to attack. Computer models will also be built to develop monitoring plans for the distribution and spread of the fungus, as well as charting how the disease might progress. This knowledge will help to fight the fungus and replace lost trees with those more able to survive.

Professor Sarah Gurr from Biosciences is leading the University of Exeter group in the Nornex consortium that has been awarded the funding. The group includes Prof Murray Grant, Dr Chris Thornton, Dr David Studholme, Professor Gero Steinberg and Professor Nick Talbot. The consortium brings together tree health and forestry specialists with scientists working with state-of-the-art genetic sequencing, biological data and imaging technologies to investigate the molecular and cellular basis of interactions between the fungus and ash trees.

Led by Professor Allan Downie at the John Innes Centre (JIC), the consortium includes: the University of Exeter, The Sainsbury Laboratory, East Malling Research, The Genepool at the University of Edinburgh, The Genome Analysis Centre, the Food and Environment Research Agency, Forest Research, the University of Copenhagen and the Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute. The research will also complement a project funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) at Queen Mary University of London to decipher the ash tree’s genetic code.

BBSRC Chief Executive Professor Douglas Kell said: “This agile funding response will ensure we improve our understanding of this devastating tree disease as quickly as possible. Little is known about the fungus, why it is so aggressive, or its interactions with the trees that it attacks. This prevents effective control strategies

Ancient woodlands covering an area larger than 12,700 football pitches are threatened with destruction to make way for new building developments and the controversial high-speed rail link.

Analysis by the Woodland Trust has revealed that at least 350 woods, which have all been a feature of the landscape for more than 400 years, could be lost or permanently damaged under plans to build housing, roads, quarries and the £33 billion rail route.

The scale of the threat, which the group says is the greatest in the 15 years since ­it began recording ancient woodlands at risk,

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/greenpolitics/planning/9919768/Our-ancient-woodlands-that-could-be-lost-to-the-bulldozer.html

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

 

“One of the things the Forestry Commission is doing is setting up an area a network of ash plantations where they will be trialling different types of ash genes to see which ones are going to be more resistant. And, what they do know from the work they’ve done in Europe, is that this resistancy is hereditary. So it does seem to give a reasonable clue that it should be possible to encourage natural resistance varieties within native population of ash.”

Mr Roughton said: “When we got the request from the Forestry Commission that they were looking for trial areas we responded immediately to offer part of this field because we see it as such an important opportunity to kick-start the ash fight-back.

“From our point of view it’s a great site because we know there’s lots of ash dieback there and that’s the best testing ground for any young ash.”

http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/suffolk_pioneering_attempt_to_find_ash_dieback_resistant_trees_1_1967912

Nurseries infected with the deadly fungus set to wipe out Britain’s 80m ash trees have been removed from the official map of the outbreak the Guardian can reveal, after nursery owners complained that being identified might hurt their business.

Officials said permitting anonymity encourages nursery owners to come forward and report infections, but critics say concealing the identity of infected nurseries means the public and scientists trying to fight the epidemic do not have the full facts.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/dec/23/ash-dieback-infected-nurseries-map

Next Page »