Possible Ash dieback case in Suffolk

Friday 26th October 2012

Ash diebackAsh tree with dieback disease

Following the recent confirmed cases of Chalara fraxinea (Ash die-back) in the county, Suffolk Wildlife Trust staff have discovered ash saplings showing visual symptoms that match Chalara at their Hullback’s Grove reserve near Bures.

Reserve Wardens have taken photographs and sent samples to the Forestry Commission’s plant health team for analysis.

Chalara dieback of ash is a serious disease of ash trees caused by a fungus called Chalara fraxinea (C. fraxinea).  The disease leads to leaf loss and crown dieback in affected trees, and it can cause tree death.

Ash dieback has spread from the continent where ash tree populations have been severely affected, with young ash trees being killed very rapidly, and older trees resisting the disease for longer periods but succumbing to the disease with prolonged exposure.

Hullback's Grove is part of Arger Fen & Spouse's Vale nature reserve, a valuable site for dormice.  Suffolk Wildlife Trust is currently aiming to raise £35, 000 to buy Pecks Piece, an adjoining piece of land, to extend this reserve with a naturally regenerated woodland.

Young ash and coppice regrowth are particularly vulnerable to the disease so the Trust has taken the following actions:

  •  All woodland reserves with ash regeneration, planted ash or young ash coppice will be checked during the next week, with photographic evidence recorded and samples being sent to the Forestry Commission for analysis.
  • All coppicing of ancient ash stools will stop on Suffolk Wildlife Trust nature reserves until the results of survey work have been analysed.

Tagged with: Living Landscapes