In Druid lore the ash is the world tree, which holds together this world (Abred), with the waters of the lower world (Annwn), the upper world (Gwynfyd) and infinity (Ceugant) beyond. The Celtic or Druidic magician Gwydion also bore an ash staff or wand.

In Norse mythology a great ash tree called Yggdrasil binds the world together. The name apparently means “Odin’s horse”, or even a gallows tree. There are many stories associated with it and it is full of various places and creatures. At the foot of the tree sit the three women known as Norns, who spin the destiny of men, like the Fates in Greek mythology.

While the basic “world tree” just links the above and below, Yggdrasil bound together not one world but nine, each a small pocket world. Perhaps like planets connected by wormholes.

http://squirrelbasket.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/ash-the-world-binding-tree/

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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.

this is why ash dieback breaks my heart: a sense that while they may be of little import to most of us on the surface, what we lose when they die runs deeper than we know. Many people – most, perhaps – couldn’t identify an ash; and I’ve heard some comment blithely that other trees will grow, it won’t matter, not in the long term. Do we need the old stories, long disproved, any more? And will a landscape without them, but richer in, say, sycamores, actually feel impoverished? They’re all just trees, after all.

It matters. Along with their unique physical presence in our landscape, along with the ecological benefits they bring as a major native species, there is a pool of myth and folklore and wisdom and learning at stake; a deep collective history that is our birthright and which, more than ever right now, can sustain us. Will the next generation even be able to call ash trees to mind – the shape their branches make in winter, the sticky black buds in spring, the sound their leaves make in a warm breeze, the feel of ash keys in the palm – as my parents could the elm?

http://www.nudgemenow.com/article/ashes-to-ashes/

This is the first confirmed case on a Wildlife Trust nature reserve in Cambridgeshire, and also a first for the county’s ancient woodlands. The reserve remains open to visitors but, for biosecurity reasons, the public are reminded that if they do visit Gamlingay Wood to check their footwear on leaving and remove any organic matter.

http://www.wildlifebcn.org/news/2012/12/12/ash-dieback-arrives-cambridgeshire-ancient-woodland

 

… when we stop and recall the bungled mess that has seen ash-dieback enter our island acres; when we hear the FC’s top expert suddenly warning of all the other diseases lining up to kill our trees – we begin to see that there aren’t really many folk out there standing up for trees.

The ones who are have their voices lost in a forest of other stories which overtake the headlines. Tree diseases are here today, gone tomorrow. Except they’re not. And something should be done.

http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/Trees-giants-landscape-need-careful-protection/story-17522321-detail/story.html

A groundbreaking Show Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2013 from the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) will highlight how imported plant pests and diseases such as Chalara ash dieback, Oak Processionary Moth and Phytophthora ramorum, and invasive non-native species such as Floating Pennywort and Water Primrose, have huge potential to change how our landscape looks and severely impact our biodiversity and wildlife.

A beautiful sunken garden featuring herbaceous planting and a sculpture by Tom Stogdon is bordered by quintessential native trees and lush shade-loving planting.  This is starkly contrasted with sinister and shocking elements:

The National Trust is sponsoring the garden and is lending their support to its development.

The ‘Stop the Spread’ garden aims to inspire the public to play their part in preserving our horticultural heritage, biodiversity and wildlife by adopting good practices to minimise their chances of unwittingly spreading plant pests and diseases, or invasive non-native species.  These include sourcing plants locally, being more patient in planting small plants and watching them grow, cleaning footwear and bikes and other equipment after visiting the countryside; checking, cleaning and drying water sports clothing and equipment after each use; and disposing of plants and garden waste safely, never letting them escape into the countryside.

http://ntpressoffice.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/stop-the-spread-breaking-new-ground-at-chelsea/

Their loss would be grim, not just for the lover of the landscape, who would miss their beauty and the way they help the observer to “read” the view and get his bearings on a country walk.

The farmers, for whom the ash is an important component of many stock-proof hedges, would certainly miss them.

They would be missed by the naturalist, too, who would regret the loss of the haven they provide to birds and insects.

Even the gamekeeper, who makes use of stands of ash in pheasant coverts, where they provide cover and roosting spots for the game, would mourn their passing,

http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/Plenty-reasons-mourn-loss-ash-trees-dreaded/story-17425224-detail/story.html