The Department of Environment has imposed an immediate and indefinite ban on the importation of Ash trees to Jersey to prevent the accidental introduction of Ash Dieback Disease caused by the fungus Chalara fraxinia.
The ban follows the recent discovery of ash trees infected by Chalara fraxinea in several nurseries and recent tree planting sites in England and Scotland. The infected plants had come from nurseries in continental Europe, or had been in contact with ash plants imported from the Continent.
The ban is at present voluntary with all traders and importers already informed and cooperating, but will become official in the next few days.
The UK plant health authorities are requiring the destruction of all infected ash plants before the disease has a chance to become established in the UK. Plant health authorities in Wales and Northern Ireland are also on high alert for the disease.
Mr Scott Meadows, Head of Plant Health at the Environment Department said “Jersey’s trees and woods have a very important role in our environment, landscape, health and well-being and must be protected from these organisms. Control and eradication of such organisms after an outbreak is difficult and costly, if possible at all ’.
“Ash dieback is a new threat to our native trees and no Ash Diebeack disease or symptoms have been detected in Jersey. The Department of Environment is taking precautionary action now to protect our environment and avoid a situation like Dutch elm disease in the 1960’s’.
‘I urge the public to act responsibly and avoid moving plant material into Jersey from other areas, as well as cleaning soil and debris from clothing, equipment and footwear before returning home’.