Ash Dieback: The Warning Signs

DARD have outlined the warning signs for Ash dieback.

Speaking after the launch of the All Ireland Chalara Control Strategy, Malcolm Beatty, Chief Executive of Forest Service said: “It is important that people stay alert to the symptoms of ash dieback and report these to us. This will help to inform our ongoing programme of surveillance and eradication, helping to protect our ash population.”

 When an ash tree is infected, the main symptoms of dieback are visible on the new shoots and leaves. The key symptoms to look for are:

  • Loss of leaves from the crown (the top) of the tree
  • New growth is wilted
  • The presence of diamond shaped dark areas of bark where the new shoot meets the main tree
  • The wood underneath these areas of bark will be darkly stained.

From June to October the fungus produces fruiting bodies on the dead leaf litter which fell to the ground during the previous autumn. These fruiting bodies are very small (1-5mm), creamy coloured and mushroom-like, and create huge quantities of spores which are blown by the wind and spread the disease to other ash trees.

If you have seen an ash tree that has any of the symptoms mentioned, or if you have seen any of the fruiting bodies on ash leaf litter lying on the ground

Comprehensive information on Ash Dieback, the actions which can be taken in helping to identify suspect symptoms, along with reporting arrangements which are in place, are available on the Department’s website http://www.dardni.gov.uk/ash-dieback-disease.htm

 Pictured: A symptom of the tree disease Ash Dieback; new growth is wilted.

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