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Managing Ash dieback in woodlands

An important part of both natural and managed landscapes, Ash trees can be relied on for a great display of autumn colour. From vibrant yellows and oranges to red and deep scarlet, they are an intrinsic part of the countryside and complement other native trees. If you have spent time on the road or rail network recently, you’ll have enjoyed the blur of colour as you look out the window. This makes the content of a recent document published by the Forestry Commission all the harder to stomach. Managing ash (Fraxinus excelsior in woodlands in light of ash dieback – Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) in this free document.

It aims to provide practical advice to anyone responsible for managing ash trees in woodlands. It will be joined in the near-future by further guidance on management of ash trees, particularly those adjacent to roads and rights-of-way.

The picture painted by the guidance is bleak. Experience in mainland Europe suggests the majority of ash trees in woodlands currently infected with the disease will decline within 10 – 15 years. Emphasis is placed on management of the disease and, where possible, conservation of the low proportion of trees which may possess a tolerance to the disease.

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