New threat to tree health in Great Britain

October 1, 2012

The Forestry Commission have released an update on a new threat to tree health, the highly destructive Chalara fraxinea fungus. Chalara causes severe dieback of ash trees, particularly young trees which can be killed within one growing season of symptoms becoming visible, and has been responsible for widespread damage in continental Europe. The first appearance in Great Britain was confirmed in a Buckinghamshire nursery in early 2012. Since then further cases have been confirmed in nurseries in West and South Yorkshire, Surrey, Cambridgeshire and Lincholnshire, and in recent plantings in Leicester, Glasgow, South Yorkshire and Co Durham.

The Forestry Commision have underlined the importance of early action to eradicate the disease before it becomes established in the UK. How you can help:

  • Be vigilant – particularly where young trees have been imported from continental Europe. Make yourself familiar with the symptoms and inspect Ash trees in your care
  • Report any suspicious symptoms – to the Forestry Commission, contact details on the website
  • Buy with care – buy from reputable suppliers and specifiy disease free stock
  • Be diligent – practise good plant hygeine and biosecurity in your own garden
  • Keep up to date – check the Forestry Commission website for latest developments


Further details are available at or for general information on tree health and biosecurity visit


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