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Tavascarow

Ash dieback identification

A good site for identifying this horrible disease.
Forestry Commission pest alert.
Midland Spinner

Useful linky, thanks for posting it.
Jamanda

It is. I haven't heard of any cases over this side of the country yet. Have you?
Treacodactyl

And, IMHO, slightly daft advice from the government.

The environment secretary has urged the public to wash their dogs and boots and even their children after visiting wooded areas, to help stop the spread of a fungus which is killing ash trees.

I think it might be wise if you're traveling a fair distance but I can't see many people bothering.

Being pragmatic I'm going to assume the disease will be here in a year or two and start coppicing some of my ash trees, encourage even more diversity and get the seed bed sorted this winter ready for the collection of local seed.
dpack

coppice sounds good
Nick

At four this morning, something on radio 4 was talking about this. The FC were offering the same advice, but as a token, admitting the disease was coming, and there's nothing they can do. We have resistant ash strains, it they'll only be widespread in a generation. Might do swathes of damage, but perhaps it's just nature rolling through the world, and will simply be another stage in the ever changing landscape. One day we might learn not to rely on a narrow genetic range, but I doubt it.
Midland Spinner

Being pragmatic I'm going to assume the disease will be here in a year or two and start coppicing some of my ash trees, encourage even more diversity and get the seed bed sorted this winter ready for the collection of local seed.


I wondered whether coppicing would be a bit of a risk in case the fungus enters via the cut surfaces - have you seen any advice one way or the other (apart from the above daft stuff?)

Personally I'm all for encouraging trees to seed & breed up resistance - I do wonder whether we'd have beaten back Dutch Elm if the trees had been allowed to sprout from suckers, rather than being grubbed out wholesale in the 1970s
Jamanda

We still have plenty of elms here, but they never get very big. They sucker then die back every few years.
Nick

Is that due to Dutch elm disease still, or are they just a short lived, stunted strain?
Jamanda

Is that due to Dutch elm disease still, or are they just a short lived, stunted strain?


No, they still have the disease. They fruit, so maybe some resistance will build up eventually.
Nick

Yeah, good. At least they have a fighting chance to evolve. Rusticwood



Being pragmatic I'm going to assume the disease will be here in a year or two and start coppicing some of my ash trees, encourage even more diversity and get the seed bed sorted this winter ready for the collection of local seed.


I've heard of others who are going to do something with the Ash they have at the moment rather than leaving it till it needs to be destroyed
Treacodactyl

Being pragmatic I'm going to assume the disease will be here in a year or two and start coppicing some of my ash trees, encourage even more diversity and get the seed bed sorted this winter ready for the collection of local seed.

I wondered whether coppicing would be a bit of a risk in case the fungus enters via the cut surfaces - have you seen any advice one way or the other (apart from the above daft stuff?)

I almost typed the word fell rather than coppice as I'm lucky and got the choice in many places of removing the ash and allowing several other trees to expand.

I would normally be worried of leaving wounds open to infection but if we're going to get 90% or more mortality rates I don't think there's much I can do. The trees get a fair beating during the summer and plenty of branches snap which leaves them open to infection anyway, plus deer damage etc.

I do know some trees can ward off / recover from infection if coppiced but I've no idea how this disease will react.
Treacodactyl



Being pragmatic I'm going to assume the disease will be here in a year or two and start coppicing some of my ash trees, encourage even more diversity and get the seed bed sorted this winter ready for the collection of local seed.


I've heard of others who are going to do something with the Ash they have at the moment rather than leaving it till it needs to be destroyed

Any advice on looking after the timber? They're not huge trees, some trunks are a good thigh size, but I'd like to keep the timber for years to come to make things like tool handles. I plan to keep them unsawn in 2m lengths under cover for now.
Rusticwood

That sort of size I tend to leave as is, bigger I would paint the ends.

You could always make some chairs with it
Wink
yummersetter

We have quite a few large ash trees on our boundaries, some regrown after lopping and now 50ft tall, and three feet across the trunks at ground level. I'm dithering now about our earlier plans to coppice them again this winter, lots of pros and cons. They're very common here ( as elms were ) - the neighbouring village is called Ash and is surrounded by them.

Is Defra planning to disinfect the birds' feet? More likely to be spread by migrating flocks coming over from the east than by the few dogs still running in the woods after the recent disease warnings.
Rusticwood

This might help with questions on the disease Nicky Colour it green

so is there an advantage in coppicing now? Ty Gwyn

[quote="yummersetter:1298090"]We have quite a few large ash trees on our boundaries, some regrown after lopping and now 50ft tall, and three feet across the trunks at ground level. I'm dithering now about our earlier plans to coppice them again this winter, lots of pros and cons. They're very common here ( as elms were ) - the neighbouring village is called Ash and is surrounded by them.


Notty Ash by any chance,?lol
Rusticwood

so is there an advantage in coppicing now?
Coppice now and you can use the timber, get infected and the timber has to be destroyed
Quote:
We are treating C. fraxinea as a ‘quarantine’ plant pathogen, which means that we may use emergency powers to contain or eradicate it when it is found. This is being done in the form of Statutory Plant Health Notices which we serve on affected owners. In the case of nursery plants and recently planted young trees, we require owners to remove and destroy affected plants by burning or deep burial on site. Equivalent measures are being taken on land managed by the Forestry Commission, and this is the only available treatment to get rid of the disease.
Nicky Colour it green

righto Hairyloon

Fungus has been identified in Dumfries and Galloway, and also in Carmarthenshire... Treacodactyl

Latest update on the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20219649

I notice it says: "Focus action on newly planted trees - don't cut down mature trees."

Does anyone know if any mature trees have been ordered to be cut down and burnt yet? As there seems to be so many locations where they've found it and they are also claiming it has blown over from Europe in some locations I tend to think there's little point in clear felling and burning swathes of mature trees any more.
yummersetter

I was wondering if the regrowth from coppiced trees would be as vulnerable as newly-planted, the mature tree uncut could be more resistant. On the other hand, a winter's firewood would be more use than one big bonfire . . . gritstone

I've got about 1000 ash trees 10-15 years old on poor ground so not big about 20 odd feet. What do you think is the best thing to do. Rusticwood

Quote:
. Chalara dieback of ash is particularly destructive of young ash plants, killing them within one growing season of symptoms becoming visible. Older trees can survive initial attacks, but tend to succumb eventually after several seasons of infection.


This next bit is a follow on from the quote I did earlier

Quote:
In the case of trees in established woodland and similar situations, where the trees are much larger, less accessible and in a mixture with other tree species, we require biosecurity measures to be taken to contain the infection on the site while we work to gain an overall national picture of the extent of the disease. Once we have completed that assessment, we will have a better idea of whether it is practicable to attempt eradication of the disease from these sites by destroying the infected trees, or whether a strategy of containment is the only realistic option.


Not sure if the anyone knows what they are doing.
If you are going to be coppicing in the near future anyway you might as
well cut now and use it rather than risk it.
Gritstone that would be a lot of wood to use. Shocked
Jamanda

We're in a heap of trouble if they start ordering felling Sad We've hundreds of ash of all ages all mixed up with other things, much of it on very steep slopes. Rusticwood

Wouldn't worry about felling yet for mature trees,and hard to reach areas Calli

Very sad to report virulent in Portumna Forest Park...far too many dying trees gritstone

Rw wrote
Quote:
Gritstone that would be a lot of wood to use.

They were planted after open casting and I've ended up with 5-6 acres of woodland. A third of the trees are ash, the rest oak and alder with a few other bits thrown in. I'd sooner start felling now and keep it than wait and have to burn it in situe. There must be resistant strains surely?
Hairyloon

There must be resistant strains surely?
They are hoping that the British trees are more rersistant than Jonny foreigner. Suspect that is nowt but jingoism, but we can hope I am wrong. It does happen sometimes.

But why on Earth were we importing saplings anyway?
I know that ash trees are desparately difficult to propagate, but even so. Confused
Truffle

There must be resistant strains surely?
They are hoping that the British trees are more rersistant than Jonny foreigner. Suspect that is nowt but jingoism, but we can hope I am wrong. It does happen sometimes.

But why on Earth were we importing saplings anyway?
I know that ash trees are desparately difficult to propagate, but even so. Confused

As always, it comes down to economics.

Tree seed is collected in the UK in specific regions. The bulk of this is shipped to Europe (primarily Holland) and propagated for planting stock before begin shipped back to the UK. Consequently, for example, you'll be buying 'UK seed region 403 trees' from a UK distributor, that were grown in Holland.

As with ornamental plants, its very hard for the UK to compete. Ash is very easy to propagate but when UK planting-ready stock is being brought into the UK at 9p per plant (delivered), its incredibly hard to compete.

It would hugely help if people bought stock certified as having been grown in the UK only, but then we are back to economics...


truffle

www.PlantationSystems.com
Hairyloon

Ash is very easy to propagate but when UK planting-ready stock is being brought into the UK at 9p per plant (delivered), its incredibly hard to compete.
How do the Dutch manage to do it so much cheaper?
What do you mean by "planting ready stock" 1 year old? 2? 3?
Treacodactyl

I've got about 1000 ash trees 10-15 years old on poor ground so not big about 20 odd feet. What do you think is the best thing to do.

We're in a similar situation with slightly bigger trees. We are lucky in having good mix of trees so we can decide to reduce numbers of one variety if we wish. I had decided to remove some of the alders, Scots Pines etc and leave the ash but now it will be the other way around.

I've just had an email update from Smallwoods who were at the government meeting yesterday. I looks like they are just going to remove nursery stock and recently planted trees looks like you should be ok. It also appears leaf litter is the main source of infection so hopefully timber extraction will be allowed.

However, until the government make an announcement I'd keep a good eye on the news.
cassy

I was going to plant more ash this winter so on a selfish note it's a bit of a shame there is a movement restriction, but I can see that bringing everything to a standstill while they figure out the best course of action is the right thing to do.

Our existing ash are all young trees, too young for coppicing.

I hope they don't opt for widespread removal and hope there is enough genetic diversity to provide resistant strains.
Treacodactyl

Is there any possibility of starting off a nursery bed and collecting your own seed?

Having said that it seems to have been a terrible year for ash keys, last year many of our young trees produced keys and lots of the mature ones nearby did but this year there's none. I didn't see any while cycling around the lanes this afternoon either.

It might also be best to start thinking about what would be a good replacement, I would seriously consider sycamore if i was planting up a new area for firewood.
mochyn

We have several mature ash, one a giant. It would be tragic to loose him.

Something I'm thinking about is lifting as may sapings as I can find and putting them in the polytunnel where they should be protected from wind-borne spores.
cassy

Is there any possibility of starting off a nursery bed and collecting your own seed?
Good plan, I'll have to go out at the weekend and see what I can find before it's too late in the season.

Treacodactyl wrote:
It might also be best to start thinking about what would be a good replacement, I would seriously consider sycamore if i was planting up a new area for firewood.

We've tried to keep a diverse mix but up till now I've been against sycamore as it's not native to the area. Perhaps it's time to reconsider.
Treacodactyl

Ash dieback will not be eradicated according to Environment Secretary Owen Paterson.

From the BBC:

Quote:
Announcing the government's action plan to tackle the disease, Mr Paterson said efforts would focus on slowing its spread through the countryside.

Diseased young trees would be removed and destroyed, he added.

But the action plan does not aim to remove mature trees, which are important for wildlife.

It adds that efforts will also focus on developing resistance to the disease.


And the DEFRA press release: http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2012/11/09/action-ash-tree-disease/
Nicky Colour it green

and a case confirmed in Devon

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-20279644


we have lots of ash trees here - including a big one that is protected and would threaten a neighbours house if it became weak.

we have ash saplings everywhere - have to pull them out of the garden as weeds.
sean

A bit about its effects and how they're dealing with them in Denmark. BBC linky Treacodactyl

Another update: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20626053

And the latest DEFRA publication: http://www.defra.gov.uk/publications/files/pb13843-chalara-control-plan-121206.pdf
(Which gives a definition of young trees as "generally those planted in the last five years")
Hairyloon

Quote:
The disease caught the UK unaware, scientific adviser, Prof Ian Boyd, told a briefing.

Other than various warnings over the past few years... not least the troubles in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland.
Confused
ninat

90% mortality means one in 10 will survive. Hopefully if left, the remaining ones will develop immunity. This sounds better than felling. Hairyloon

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/WorrellReport-ChalaraImpacts.pdf/$FILE/WorrellReport-ChalaraImpacts.pdf TTouch Homestead

Confused we have loads of ash trees, some huge ones. I am always pulling up small seedlings from the beds, and the borders. Maybe I should start potting them up or create a nursery bed somewhere... Pilsbury

I think if you have space for a nursery bed it would be a great idea. At least there would be a,chance of some of them having immunity and coming through unscathed. TTouch Homestead

I am going to find a space to put them tomorrow. Pigs have dug over a corner of the field, so might just use that for now.[/u] cassy

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/WorrellReport-ChalaraImpacts.pdf/$FILE/WorrellReport-ChalaraImpacts.pdf
Thanks for posting that. A very interesting report esp. the potential impact on lichens and invertebrates and which species are the best replacements to plant.
Mistress Rose

As our wood has very old (possibly over 1000 years) ash coppice in it, we are hoping that a good proportion of the trees are resistant. Unfortunately nobody really seems to know the effect on coppice ash, as this is not common in Europe. The only advice we have had from Small Woods is to leave some of it as it might be less susceptible uncut, but as it needs cutting or it will fall over, this isn't really an option for us. Hairyloon

Just thinking aloud...

I hear it spreads via the leaf litter, so the advice is to clear up the leaves.
What about replacing that with a mulch of something with fungicidal properties?
Is it rhubarb leaves? What else?
sean

Genome sequencing. Mistress Rose

Glad some progress is being made. Hope that they will find an answer before it goes much further.

Don't know if it came up, but elm trees are starting to develop a resistance to Dutch elm disease. They used to die off at 15-20 years old, but are now going to over 20. We actually have several wych elms of more than 1 variety in the woods that are not affected. It may be because they are in a wood as the beetle is less likely to find them there, or they may be resistant; we don't know.
sean

Killer beetles now. tahir

Killer beetles now.

I never did trust Herbie
gregotyn

I've got lots of small ash saplings, they sort of grow here in mid Wales like weeds. I've seen no sign of the disease but I haven't gone out of my way to look, so not really surprising! I will have a walk round at the w/e. gz

There must be resistant strains surely?
They are hoping that the British trees are more rersistant than Jonny foreigner. Suspect that is nowt but jingoism, but we can hope I am wrong. It does happen sometimes.

But why on Earth were we importing saplings anyway?
I know that ash trees are desparately difficult to propagate, but even so. Confused

I was talking to a tree grower from Somerset, he has done some research into Ash tree history. Apparently there are two genetic groups of Ash trees, Iberian and European. The latter is susceptible to the disease.

Many trees in the West of Britain are of Iberian stock, so will survive.

One source of the disease has been UK seedlings exported to the Nederlands for growing on before being re-imported to nurseries here.

Sorry I don't have sources for this information, but we just got talking at the European Masters Track Champs where we were both competing.
Mistress Rose

In August we went to a seminar about tree health run by the Forestry Commission and were able to talk to Dr. Joan Webber who is their expert on the disease. She said that if there is a choice in leaving trees, then leave them, but if they are affected by butt rot, as a number of ours are, then fell them. The new growth will get to adult immunity level in about 10 years.

As far as I know, it may be possible to move timber from a site with Chelara, but there are restrictions, and all suspected outbreaks should be reported through the Forestry Commission and any felling, movement etc. done under their direction. Please give as much detail as possible about location, because, 'a dodgy looking ash tree on the M3 between Southampton and Winchester' isn't very helpful.

It now seems that there could have been two waves of infection from imported trees, one about 15 years ago, so the spread may not be as fast in the UK as was first thought.

We live in hopes that our ash trees survive.
Woodburner

There must be resistant strains surely?
They are hoping that the British trees are more rersistant than Jonny foreigner. Suspect that is nowt but jingoism, but we can hope I am wrong. It does happen sometimes.

But why on Earth were we importing saplings anyway?
I know that ash trees are desparately difficult to propagate, but even so. Confused

That was tongue in cheek, right? They are weeds around here. I encourage them, but I am a hippy, and want them for coppicing ; ) .

Earlier this year, I did see a bit with a suspicious looking blotch on a stem (a bit like rust on hellebores) and not too healthy looking above that, so I pruned it out, and went round looking carefully at all the other saplings. Found one or two more bits and did the same. Haven't seen any more since, but will keep checking when they start into growth again next year.

I'm not too happy with the idea that somewhere not far enough away from me they are planting a thousand or more in close proximity. Have they never heard of the problems associated with mono culture? Neutral
Jamanda

I seem to spend all my walks looking for diamond shaped lesions. None thus far. Woodburner

. . . then fell them. The new growth will get to adult immunity level in about 10 years.
Surely new growth on old stock still has the adult immunity. After all, even mature trees have new growth every year, if that was affected then they wouldn't be saying trees over 10 years have immunity. Confused

As far as I know, it may be possible to move timber from a site with Chelara, but there are restrictions, and all suspected outbreaks should be reported through the Forestry Commission and any felling, movement etc. done under their direction. Please give as much detail as possible about location, because, 'a dodgy looking ash tree on the M3 between Southampton and Winchester' isn't very helpful.

Oops! My bits are long gone now. Could I have sent them off somewhere for confirmation or refutation (sp?)? I'm not sure I want anyone coming into my garden possibly carrying the real thing, from their previous inspection site, when what I had might have been something else entirely.


We live in hopes that our ash trees survive. Indeed! Mistress Rose

If you cut down a tree it will coppice. Both this growth and the new shoots sent out by a mature tree are the most at risk of Chelara. In the case of the new coppice growth there is a lot of new growth and very little else except for the stub of the stem(s) and the root. There is a far higher proportion of new growth to infect the lower parts of the system, so more risk of the whole thing dying quickly. With a mature tree, there is far more mature wood, and this seems to be less susceptible to the disease, so the tree may not die, or if it does, it may take longer and the ultimate cause of death could be something else like honey fungus.

Initially you tell the FC the site of the suspected infection, with photos if possible. They will send someone out to inspect I think.

If you have had no more trouble with your ash trees, it may not have been Chelara. There are other ash die back diseases, and leaves can be affected by wind, cold or many other things. Watch them next spring and compare any problems with the symptoms of Chelara. If they look the same, I would strongly recommend you report it.
tahir

We have chalara! The lady from the FC told us that we could pull out the tress if we wanted or just leave them. They're mostly self seeded juveniles 8-10 yrs old in a bit of rough ground. Tavascarow

Bum!! Hope you get some survivors.
Crying or Very sad
Mistress Rose

Sorry to hear that Tahir. If you have no older ash trees to be infected, it might be best to let them stay this year to see if any of them survive. The FC person who had been studying chelara told me that the tree achieves its 'adult' immunity in about 8-10 years, so any over that age that survive probably have at least some immunity.

If you are planting, the best way to minimise the effect of losing ash is to put in a good mix of hardwoods. I will try to find a paper I was reading about it. Rather long and complicated, but very good information in it. I know that we have the right mix in the wood already except for European privit.
tahir

We're planting 5.5ha this winter; oak chestnut hornbeam birch lime sycamore douglas fir scots pine hazel crab apple alder field maple guelder rose dpack

shall i fill my pockets with "yorkshirised" seeds ?

that sounds very like my project mix Cool
tahir

Nah it's a forestry commission grant Mistress Rose

That sounds like a good mix Tahir. That sounds like a good area. What density are you planting at to save me having to work it all out after a busy day yesterday? tahir

1600 per hectare Mistress Rose

So just over 2m centre for the trees/shrubs? Any more and they tend to spread a bit too much and don't produce good straight trees. Sadly, you have to plant fairly close and then thin before hardwoods get very big, so there is only so much you can use them for. Have seen an example of trees planted too far apart, and they are just a mess.

As far as trees are concerned, we have people saying to us that they aren't worried about the timber potential for oak trees etc. Our reply is that you may not be, but in 100 years time someone will be cursing you if you don't at least consider that. Having a wood that shows what the owners thought in the way of forestry over perhaps 1000 years, and very obviously over the last couple of hundred, rather brings it home to you.
Treacodactyl

Unless you constantly control grey squirrels you're unlikely to get much quality timber anyway. As soon as the canopy closes they'll move in an bark strip.

Tahir, is anyone devising a planting plan for you? The woodland manager I've been speaking to a fair bit is now planting in groups with clear gaps around them so most trees grow tall and straight but with the hope squirrels will do less damage.

I also thought sweet chestnut has so many diseases in this country it's not worth planting.
tahir

There's a lot of chestnut round here even though I lost most of my fruiting trees. The fc lady didn't seem to be co Ferber so I included them. I'll ask about squirrels but we don't see a lot of branches stripped by them.

Don't know how good ours will be for timber as I don't know where I'll get the time to do the pruning but yeah that was our thinking
Mistress Rose

I don't think there is any trouble with sweet chestnut, but horse chestnut is currently suffering badly. The two are completely different. The places we find most squirrel damage is on the main trunk just above a branch, although we have lost quite a lot of branches on mature trees to squirrels. There is timber and timber. It is said that if you let a tree grow on 10 years it doesn't look anything like as bad at the end of the time. Treacodactyl

There's plenty of problems with sweet chestnut. In the SW areas have had to be felled as it's susceptible to Phytophthora ramorum, so I'd not plant much of it down here. I also read recently an area in the south east had died from something else which I can't remember. (Edit to add, and there's a letter in the current Smallwoods magazine from someone saying dead sweet chestnut in the south east is more common than dead ash or larch in there experience).

As for squirrels you may not think many are about but it only takes a few over a few weeks to damage hundreds of trees. They will often take out the leader in oak. Yes many will recover but at what cost to the quality of the timber? I've got some oaks that have been attacked each year any they're not going to recover, a few that have been stripped so bad they're dying - and I don't have many squirrels. As mentioned, it seems to be a big problem as the canopy of a new wood closes, so 10 - 20 years time.
tahir

As TD knows we have lost a lot of sweet chestnut (French imports of named cvultivars) to p ramorum, but this was after 2 wet winters that turned very cold follwed by hot dry summers.

Our two nearest woods have a lot of chestnut in them so the FC officer wasn't too worried about us planting again.

We do control for squirrels so maybe that's why we don't see much damage?
Treacodactyl

I didn't know or I forgot you had p ramorum. I'm not worried about spreading it around as it seems to be nation wide now, rather questioning if it's worth planting sweet chestnut as they'll be killed off quickly. tahir

Well, teh FC woman reckons they'll be fine. She should know better than me Mistress Rose

We don't seem to have P ramorum problems in sweet chestnut in central southern England at the moment as far as I know. We do have a reasonable number of well established coppice chestnut woods. If you lose the leader on an oak tree and are able to select another one within a few years, by the time the oak is felled in 150 years time or more, you probably won't even notice the kink. I take the point about squirrels though; they are very destructive. They are at their worst for bark stripping in the spring and it seems to be young males and when there is high density that the worst occurs. We get trouble some years and not others, depending on weather and buzzards I think. dpack

squizzers are delicious. Mistress Rose

If we could manage to shoot a few, I would certainly try to cook them. dpack

If we could manage to shoot a few, I would certainly try to cook them.

peanut butter bait station with a decent backstop Wink

bbq young ones

stew or pie older ones

better than bunny imho
Pel

we had a woodland bio-security seminar today, found out about plant tracker http://planttracker.naturelocator.org/ and Tree alert (FC). Plant tracker, apparently also tells you what you already have in your area, and you can add new sightings too it. Mistress Rose

I went to a bio-security seminiar on woodlands the August before last, run by the Forestry Commission. Don't think there will be much more because of the cuts sadly. It was very interesting, but could easily make you paranoid.

Useful to go to the seminar Pel. Who was it run by?
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