ASH. Chalara Disease Update June 2016…Build That Wall

A devestating disease has been found on ash trees in Ireland which had been imported from mainland Europe. The Department of Agriculture has belatedly banned the import of ash transplants. Ash dieback or Chalara fraxinea is reported to have killed 90% of the ash in Denmark. A great number of ash transplants planted by the farming community in recent years were imported. It is beleived that ash trees in England have been contaminated by fungal spores air borne from as far away as Holland so it is unlikeky that Ireland’s ash population will not be affected. While the traditional methods of selecting seed from the best local tree and sowing and growing our own ash rather than relying on cheap imports may not have saved us from the disease it would surely have contributed more to the survival of our own truly native trees. Like Trump would say ‘build that wall’.

Below an update from Dept of Agriculture dated 30th June 2016
To date in 2016, i.e. up to 30th June 2016, findings of the disease have been confirmed in a further 49 forestry plantations. This brings the current total for forestry plantations to 164. Four of these new forestry findings were in counties where there had previously been no confirmed findings in forestry plantations. This increased the distribution of findings in forestry plantations from 19 to 21 counties.

In the same period there was also one confirmed finding in a commercial nursery, two confirmed findings in farm landscaping / agri-environment scheme plantings in County Tipperary, 11 individual samples taken from trees in roadside / motorway landscaping plantings in Counties Galway, Kildare, Laois, and Westmeath which tested positive, and 13 individual samples taken from trees in native hedgerows in Counties Roscommon, Tipperary, Wexford, and Wicklow which tested positive.

The findings in trees in native hedgerows in County Wexford were the first findings in that context in that county. This increased the distribution of findings in native hedgerows from 12 to 13 counties. Similarly the findings in trees in roadside / motorway landscaping plantings in County Laois were the first findings in that context in that county. This increased the distribution of findings in roadside / motorway landscaping plantings from 13 to 14 counties.

Taken together these new findings have widened the general geographic distribution of the disease and confirm the presence to a greater or lesser extent of the disease in all 26 counties in Ireland.
There are currently 21 counties with confirmed findings in forestry plantations (Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Galway, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford, and Wicklow), 13 counties with individual positive samples taken from trees in native hedgerows (Cavan, Clare, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Monaghan, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Wexford and Wicklow) and 14 counties with individual positive samples taken from trees in roadside / motorway landscaping plantings (Clare, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny, Laois, Limerick, Louth, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Tipperary, Waterford, and Westmeath).
Number and location of confirmed findings of Ash Dieback disease in Ireland
(as of 30th June 2016)
No. by site type / county Number of Confirmed Findings
Oct 2012 to End of 2015 Number of
additional
Confirmed
Findings to date
in 2016 Total to date
(30th June 2016)
Forestry plantations 115 49 1641
Commercial nurseries 25 1 26
Garden centres 4 0 4
Private gardens 7 0 7
Farm / agri- environment plantings 25 2 27

No. of counties with hedgerow findings 12 1 132
No. of counties with roadside / motorway findings 13 1 143

1 There are currently 164 forestry plantations with positive samples distributed over 21 counties: Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Galway, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford, and Wicklow.
2 There are currently 13 counties with individual positive samples taken from trees in native hedgerows: Cavan, Clare, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Monaghan, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Wexford, and Wicklow.
3 There are currently 14 counties with individual positive samples taken from trees in roadside / motorway landscaping plantings: Clare, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick, Laois, Louth, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Tipperary, Waterford, and Westmeath.

Distribution map of confirmed findings of Ash Dieback in Ireland
(as of 30th June 2016). The locations of horticultural nurseries and garden centres are not depicted.
added 05.08.16
Non planting of ash
In December 2012 the Department delisted ash as a tree species approved under the afforestation grant schemes and shortly thereafter delisted ash from the trees species approved under the agri-environment options scheme (AEOS, now GLAS). In 2013 the European Commission approved the Department’s application to allow farmers participating in the current agri-environment schemes, who had concerns regarding ash plants planted under the schemes showing symptoms of Ash Dieback, to apply to remove the ash plants under force majeure. The National Roads Authority also agreed in 2013 to suspend the use of ash in any roadside/motorway plantings and since then it uses alternative species. Coillte also made a policy decision not to replant with ash.