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.

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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

More than 20,000 trees may have to be destroyed at Northern Ireland’s only Diamond Jubilee Wood.

They are ash trees planted only last year near Whitehead to mark the Queen’s Jubilee.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-22047873

Based on a literature survey, we provide an overview of the present knowledge on ash dieback, identify practical recommendations and point out research needs. The observation of relatively resistant individual ash trees (although at very low frequency) calls for a rapid germplasm collection effort to establish a breeding program for resistance or tolerance to the disease. Ash trees that appear to be tolerant to the pathogen should not be felled.

Given that the pathogen does not form propagules on wood, and given the importance of deadwood for biodiversity conservation, dead and dying ash trees should be left in the forest.

Conservation biologists, landscape managers, restoration ecologists, social scientists and tree geneticists need to engage with forest pathologists and the various stakeholders throughout the distributional range of F. excelsior so as to tackle this pressing conservation challenge.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320712003813