Ash Dieback (Chalara fraxinea)
By now almost everyone in the UK will be aware of this emerging threat to our native ash trees. Like us, you are probably very concerned about the impact this disease
may have in our native woodlands.
There are many reasons why our local woodland culture will be much diminished if ash is significantly harmed. For example:
In a typical native woodland in Southern Scotland, ash will make up from around 10 to 30% of the trees;
As a native species ash has high biodiversity value, including providing vital nesting holes for owls and bats, and having
symbiotic relationships with mycorrhizal fungi which are important for overall woodland health;
Our Veteran and Heritage trees include many fine examples of ash which are centuries old;
Ash is very popular for locally crafted furniture and used in basketry.
Sadly, a mature tree in Berwickshire has now been confirmed with the disease, making it more likely that other sites will be identified in
the future. This is the first Scottish site where a mature tree has been identified with ash dieback, meaning that it
is not confined to nursery-raised saplings which were imported from outside the UK. While this is disheartening news,
BFT continues to believe that our approach of focusing on a mix of species from locally gathered seeds and locally-reared saplings offers the best chance of producing
genetically diverse and ecologically healthy woodlands.
In the face of this threat, Borders Forest Trust urges you to find out about the symptoms of Ash dieback by studying the Forestry
Commission information available at this link://www.forestry.gov.uk/chalara
This link also contains information on how to report any suspected cases of the disease and the up to date information on movement
restrictions of ash trees and seeds. The disease is known to spread in the summer months, so over the winter the
Government will be further developing an approach to try and prevent Ash dieback from spreading more widely into our woodlands.
Borders Forest Trust will update information on our website whenever we know of practical steps that can be taken by our members and
supporters to care for our native ash trees.