UK to plant 250,000 ash trees to outwit deadly fungus

Ash tree UKFlickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

We wouldn't be called TreeHugger if we didn't like trees!

Ash trees in the UK are under attack. As Bonnie wrote about a few months ago, a deadly fungus called Chalara fraxinea has been spreading fast and causing a lot of damage. So far, not much has succeeded in combatting the tree-disease, but a new program by the UK government might help: They're planning to plant 250,000 (!) ash trees in the hope that some strains that are more resistant to it can be identified and then used to repopulate affected areas.

Ash treeFlickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

The UK's National Trust said it was too late to eradicate the disease, but it might be possible to buy time. Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary said that taking a long term approach to Chalara fraxinea was the most effective strategy.

We know we can't stop Chalara infecting our ash trees, so we have to throw our resources into managing it and slowing the spread. A key part of that strategy will be identifying those trees which have a natural resistance to the disease so that we can re-stock our woodlands in the future. (source)

£1.5m ($2.27m) will be spent on this project, and the trees will be planted mostly in the East and South East of the country, where outbreaks of fungii are most severe.

ash treesamandabhslater/CC BY 2.0


See also: England Decides Not to Sell Off Public Forests

Tags: United Kingdom


treehugger slideshows