Ash Dieback & Road Safety
What is Ash Dieback Disease?
Hymenoscyphus fraxineus or more commonly known as Ash die back (chalara). Ash die back effects trees of all ages. It is a fungus which originated in Asia.
However, its introduction to Europe about 30 years ago has devastated European ash. It’s most likely source of travel to the UK and Ireland is through imported ash saplings. This was first detected in Northern Ireland in 2012 and has no natural defense against the disease.
How the disease spreads?
The fungus gathers in the leaf litter on the ground over winter, and when fruiting bodies appear in this litter in late summer, the spores are released into the atmosphere and penetrates the leaf and into the tree body
What effect does it have on the tree?
The fungus grow inside the tree, eventually blocking it’s water transport systems causing it to die. Initially the tree can fight back however after reinfection over the following years, it will eventually kill it.(Woodland Trust)
How can we help to keep the public safe on the roads?
By carrying out tree surveys on ash trees situated along road sides we are able to see which trees pose a potential danger to drivers and pedestrians. By reducing or removing these diseased trees, it reduces the risk of the tree falling and becoming a road hazard or causing a potentially fatal accident.