c Trade & Finance


Landowners in England will be paid to remove young ash trees and replace them with other species to help slow the spread of the disease killing them, the environment secretary said on Tuesday.

Paterson said: “We know we can’t stop Chalara fraxinea infecting our ash trees, so we have to throw our resources into managing it and slowing the spread. A key part of that strategy will be identifying those trees which have a natural resistance to the disease so that we can restock our woodlands in the future.”

The amount the government will spend on replacing young trees will depend on demand, said a spokeswoman. Landowners will be paid to remove recently planted ash from high priority areas – a band running from Cornwall and Devon and then north through Gloucester and up to the Midlands – and replace the trees with other species.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/mar/26/ash-dieback-landowners-restock-woodlands

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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

The crisis in Britain’s ash forests came as a shock to public and politicians. But is it a vision of the future for our woodlands? Stressed by climate change and vulnerable to pests and diseases crossing the English Channel the prospects seem grim.

In a special edition of Costing the Earth Tom Heap asks what our forests will look like in the future. Is there anything we can do to stem the flow of disease, can our native trees be made more resilient or should we consider planting a wider range of trees? Tom visits Lithuania where ash dieback disease first came to attention in Europe to find out how they’ve come to terms with new threats to their forests and meets the experts and enthusiasts with a fresh approach to protecting our forests.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01p9dcp

Action against the deadly fungus threatening the UK’s ash trees was delayed by a lack of qualified plant pathologists, MPs were told on Tuesday. Government scientists being questioned by parliament’s environment committee also said border controls against the rising number of invasive plant pests were not working, while committee chair Anne McIntosh said it was “staggering” that the amount of imported firewood – a potential infection risk – was unknown.

The Forestry Commission recommended in July 2011 that ash trees should only be imported from areas free of the Chalara fraxinea fungus, but an import ban was only imposed in October 2012. At least 136 of the 291 infected sites now identified in the UK resulted from imported trees.

In November, Prof James Brown, president of the British Society of Plant Pathology, told the Guardian the job losses in plant science were “severe”. He said: “Britain is not producing graduates with the expertise needed to identify and control plant diseases in our farms and woodlands.”

a key measure put forward in the action plan – developing strains of ash trees that are naturally resistant to Chalara – would take 10 years or more to bear fruit.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/dec/11/ash-dieback-plant-scientists-environment-committee

Clearly, the disease has been here for some time and more cases may be identified in the spring. This situation, with the knowledge of experience on the continent, makes Confor question how much resource can usefully go into controlling spread.

There is a real danger that an over-ambitious focus on reducing spread will take away resource from other vital areas of work, such as, putting in place a practical strategy for limiting the danger of future outbreaks and Forestry Commission resources for promoting forestry expansion and management.”

http://www.confor.org.uk/NewsAndEvents/News.aspx?pid=23&id=1370

 

The UK’s control plan is based on four measures – “reduce, develop, encourage and adapt”, said Prof Ian Boyd, chief scientist at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). He said the aim was to reduce the spread of Chalara, develop new control measures and resistant varieties, encourage the public and industry to help out and adapt the nation’s forests to the inevitable changes.

However, Paterson said the current policy of tracing and destroying young infected trees – which has seen more than 100,000 trees removed – was “unlikely to be sustainable in the longer term and there may be benefits from a more targeted approach.” Boyd said control measures had to be “proportional” to ensure trade could continue and deliver “economic uplift” but said what a more targeted approach might be was yet to be determined.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/dec/06/ash-dieback-infection-sites-double

 

Ash tree growers across the country are counting the cost of Ash Dieback after a survey estimated that the fungal disease could cost the industry £2.5 million.

95% of businesses state that the current situation will have a negative effect on their business

·         58% predict cash flow problems over the winter period

·         87% expect reduced business profitability.

·         13% of nurseries have already destroyed ash stock in response to the disease (either due to destruction notice or market failure)

·         8% of those surveyed believe they may go out of business without financial support.

There is an estimated £2.5million worth of ash trees held currently on UK nurseries with the majority being 1-2 year old seedlings, although the total market value is spread quite evenly across all tree sizes.

The HTA estimate that nearly 1.5 million ash trees have been imported by the nursery trade over the last 12 months and nearly 4 million since January 2009.

http://www.the-hta.org.uk/page.php?pageid=1025

 

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