Ash Dieback: Why Should I Care?

Common Ash is one of the UK’s most versatile tree species and makes up 12% of the UK’s Broadleaf Woodlands, however, ash dieback is now present across the UK and forecast to infect 95% of woodland ash of which 85% are expected to die within 15 years of infection.

The impact is expected to be greater than Dutch Elm disease, posing significant ecological, economic, and safety risks to owners, managers, and the wider environment.

This presentation covers 4 areas.

1) ‘What is an Ash Tree?’:  Characteristics, distribution, identifying features, and uses.
2) ‘What is Ash Die Back?’: Characteristics, distribution, impact, forecasts
3) ‘Why should I care?’. Duty of care liability issues increasing, working risks increasing, sustainability of ash woodland resource going, risk of loss of habitat
4) ‘What should I do?’. Quantify what levels of ash exist on a site, confirm the presence of ash dieback, identify high risk areas containing ash, plan and budget future works, get grants and licences in a timely manner. Do not be complacent.

Additional information from the Forestry Commission and references are listed at the end and below.

References

1) Savill P., The Silviculture of Trees used in British Forestry, 2nd Edition, CABI 2013. p91
2) Heinz, Tiefenbacher, Litschauer, Kirisits: Ash dieback in Austria – history, current situation and outlook, in Dieback of European Ash (Fraxinus spp) Consequences and Guidelines for Sustainable Management, Ed. R. Vasaitis & R.Enderle, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, COST, 2017
3) Heinz et al. Enderle, Fussi, Lenz, Langer, Nagel, Metzler, Ash dieback in Germany: research on disease development, resistance and management options. Both in Dieback of European Ash (Fraxinus spp) Consequences and Guidelines for Sustainable Management, Ed. R. Vasaitis & R.Enderle, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, COST, 2017
4) The Tree Council, Ash Dieback: An Action Plan Toolkit, February 2019. Heinz et al
5) The Tree Council, Ash Dieback: An Action Plan Toolkit
6) Observatree, Field Identification Guide Chalara ash dieback, Forest Research, 2016
7) Davydenko & Meshkova, The current situation concerning severity and cause of ash die back in Ukraine caused by Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, in Dieback of European Ash (Fraxinus spp) Consequences and Guidelines for Sustainable Management, Ed. R. Vasaitis & R.Enderle, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, COST, 2017. Heinz et al.
8) Multiple articles in Dieback of European Ash (Fraxinus spp) Consequences and Guidelines for Sustainable Management, Ed. R. Vasaitis & R.Enderle, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, COST, 2017.
9) Gil, Kowalski, Kraj, Zachara, Lukaszewicz, Paluch, Nowakoska, Oszako, Ash dieback in Poland – History of the Phenomena and possibilities of its limitation. In Dieback of European Ash (Fraxinus spp) Consequences and Guidelines for Sustainable Management, Ed. R. Vasaitis & R.Enderle, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, COST, 2017
10) Enderle et al,  Sioen, Roskams, De Cuyper, Steenackers, Ash dieback in Flanders (Belgium): research on disease development, resistance and management. Both in Dieback of European Ash (Fraxinus spp) Consequences and Guidelines for Sustainable Management, Ed. R. Vasaitis & R.Enderle, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, COST, 2017
11). Heinz et al. R. Drenkhan, Agan, Palm, Rosenvald, Jurisoo, Maaten, Padari, T. Drenkhan, Overview of ash and ash dieback in Estonia in Dieback of European Ash (Fraxinus spp) Consequences and Guidelines for Sustainable Management, Ed. R. Vasaitis & R.Enderle, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, COST, 2017
12) Forestry Commission Operations Note 046, Managing ash (Fraxinus excelsior) in woodlands in light of ash dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus), 20th September 2018. The Tree Council, Ash Dieback: An Action Plan Toolkit. Multiple in Dieback of European Ash (Fraxinus spp) Consequences and Guidelines for Sustainable Management, Ed. R. Vasaitis & R.Enderle, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, COST, 2017.
13) The Tree Council, Ash Dieback: An Action Plan Toolkit
14) The Tree Council, Ash Dieback: An Action Plan Toolkit
15) Forestry Commission Operations Note 046
16) Broom & Mitchell, FCRN029 Ecological Impacts of ash dieback and mitigation methods, Forest Research, July 2017. Enderle et al in Dieback of European Ash (Fraxinus spp) Consequences and Guidelines for Sustainable Management, Ed. R. Vasaitis & R.Enderle, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, COST, 2017. The Tree Council, Ash Dieback: An Action Plan Toolkit
17) A. Field, Ash Dieback in Denmark Feedback on visit with Euroforest march 2018, Forestry Commission. G. Battel, Chalara: On the front-line, Suffolk County Council, 4th Nov 2014. Enderle et al in Dieback of European Ash (Fraxinus spp) Consequences and Guidelines for Sustainable Management, Ed. R. Vasaitis & R.Enderle, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, COST, 2017.
18) FISA/Euroforest Ltd, Safety Guidance for Managers – Felling Dead Ash, April 2018. A. Field, Ash Dieback in Denmark Feedback on visit with Euroforest march 2018. Forestry Commission Operations Note 046. Enderle et al in Dieback of European Ash (Fraxinus spp) Consequences and Guidelines for Sustainable Management, Ed. R. Vasaitis & R.Enderle, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, COST, 2017
19) The Tree Council, Ash Dieback: An Action Plan Toolkit
20) Forest ResearchForest Research UK Wood Production and Trade: provisional figures: https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/tools-and-resources/statistics/statistics-by-topic/timber-statistics/uk-wood-production-and-trade-provisional-figures/
21) The Forest Authority, Research Note 252 Dutch Elm Disease in Great Britain, 1994.
Other: Leicester County Council Ash Dieback Action Plan
Other: Common Sense Risk Management of Trees (National Tree Safety Group, 2011)
Other: https://www.forestry.gov.uk/squirrel-damage & B.Mayle, Managing Deer in the Countryside, July 1999, Forest Research Practice Note

Ash Dieback: Why Should I Care?