Monday 19th November 2012
Further confirmed locations have been identified over the past few weeks in both newly planted woodlands and the wider environment, however as of the 19th November all of our parks remain clear of the disease.
The Government have agreed a set of objectives to tackle the disease following the Chalara and Tree Health Summit held on 7th November, which brought together Scientists, Campaigners, Charitable Groups and Woodland Agencies. These are to:
- Reduce the rate of spread
- Develop resistance to the disease in the native UK ash tree population
- Encourage citizen, landowner and industry engagement in tackling the problem
- Build resilience in the UK woodland and associated industries
To meet these objectives the Government has also set out an immediate action plan, the main actions are that:
- Newly planted diseased trees and diseased trees in nurseries will be traced and destroyed, as once young trees are infected they succumb quickly.
- Mature trees will not be removed, as they are valuable to wildlife and lessons can be learnt about genetic strains that might be resistant to the disease.
Looking at the overall composition of our burial park woodlands, Ash comprise a small percentage. Ash die back only infects Ash trees so the risk to the wider woodland biodiversity is small. The fungus exists within the leaves and leaf stems of the tree initially, and spreads via the dispersal of spores. This occurs between June and October peaking between July and August, this means that as we progress through Autumn into Winter the risk of new infections diminishes.
We remain in close contact with the Forestry Commission who are updating us on the situation as it unfolds. We will continue to monitor our trees and will complete a full survey in Spring 2013 when the disease becomes more visible, where we will respond in accordance with the scientific advice.