Article posted on 19 February 2015
Chalara dieback of ash, also known as Chalara or ash dieback, is a fungal disease of ash trees which causes leaf loss, crown dieback and bark lesions in affected trees. Once a tree is infected the disease is usually fatal, either directly, or indirectly by weakening the tree to the point where it succumbs more readily to attacks by other pests or pathogens, especially Armillaria fungi, or honey fungus.
First signs of Chalara in Britain were found in a nursery in Buckinghamshire in February 2012. Improved monitoring techniques continue to uncover new finds at an average rate of around 20 cases per month.
Confirmed findings at 2 February 2015:
Nursery sites – 26
Recently planted sites – 399
Wider environment, e.g. established woodland – 563
Total – 988
Average new cases per month – 20
The Forestry Commission have produced an Interactive Map showing confirmed distribution in the wider environment.