A conference on ash dieback organised by the Limerick and Tipperary Woodland Owners (LTWO) will take place in Thurles at the end of this month.

Farmers and forest owners from all over Ireland will converge at the Dome, Semple stadium in Thurles, Co. Tipperary on Saturday, March 25, at 10:00a.m, according to the LTWO.

There are 123 million ash trees in Ireland and almost all of them will die of ash dieback, causing devastation to the environment and to woodland owners who stand to lose decades of investment, LTWO chair Simon White has warned.

The conference will see farmers talking about the devastation of ash dieback and they will hear from economists, experienced forestry contractors, and ex-Coillte staff.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), and Teagasc have also been invited to attend the conference and discuss solutions to the ash dieback crisis.

“This conference will discuss the stress ash dieback has placed on woodland owners and why it is a major factor preventing people from planting their land with trees.

“But we also want to look to the future and discuss solutions to this problem. I am delighted that we have a range of speakers who will tackle this problem from many different angles,” he added.

89ha of forestry were planted in the first two months of 2023, which is down by almost 74% on last year when 336ha of trees were planted, the DAFM’s Forestry Licensing Dashboard shows.

Afforestation licences have been granted for 86ha; 47ha was issued in January and 39ha in February. In the first two months of 2022, afforestation licences for some 751ha were issued.

Anyone interested in attending the free conference is asked to register on ashdieback2023.com.