What is Ash Dieback (Chalara)?
Also known as Chalara, ash dieback is a disease that originated in Asia and was first seen in Europe in 1992. The fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus first kills the leaves before spreading down the branches and trunk, eventually killing the whole tree. Ash dieback now affects more than 2 million square feet and was first identified in England in 2012 in a consignment of imported trees.
How to spot ash dieback
Once a tree is infected with ash dieback you will need to report the case to either the Food and Environment Research Agency or the Forestry Commission. As the disease spreads through the tree it would be best to cut away infected or weakened limbs for your own safety, or to simply remove the tree altogether. Symptoms of an infected tree include:
> Wilting or brown leaves
> Dying shoots or twigs
> Small lesions or spots on the bark of branches
> Inner wood turning a dark brown-grey colour down the length of the tree
> Fungi growing along leaf stalks in the damp parts of the wood during late summer and early autumn months.
The emerald ash borer
The emerald ash borer is another very real threat to ash trees. This variety of beetle is native to Asia and has not yet been seen in England. However, the infestation is spreading at a rate of 25 miles a year and is thought to have spread as far as Sweden so far, so it is best to familiarise yourself with this bug now. The adult beetles feed on ash trees but cause very little damage. The larvae, however, bore into the tree, killing it. The larvae are a very real threat to our landscape and are thought to be even more dangerous than ash dieback.
The effects of ash tree extinction
The extinction of the ash tree from our landscape will greatly reduce our biodiversity, with over 1,000 species of animals being associated with the presence of ash woodland, including 12 varieties of birds and 55 mammals. Some smaller trees can provide a new home for some of these species, but it is thought that over 100 species of insects and fungi could go extinct with the loss of the ash tree.
Court Farm Garden Centre boasts an impressive and expansive range of products perfect for any gardening skill level, from the budding amateur to the professional landscaper. With a selection of products covering everything from artificial grass to giftware, lawnmowers to topsoil, we’re sure we have the materials to get your garden blooming. Get in contact today for more information on any of our products, or simply pop round to our centre on Old Kingston Road in Surrey where our friendly and helpful staff will be happy to assist you.