Public help sought to limit ash disease

| November 16, 2012 | 0 Comments
Healthy ash tree on the left and tree infected with Chalara dieback on the right

Members of the public are being asked to help prevent the introduction of a disease affecting Jersey’s ash trees.

The Department of the Environment is asking people to contact them if they spot symptoms of the Ash Dieback disease.

In October the department imposed an indefinite ban on the importation of ash trees to prevent the accidental introduction of Ash Dieback disease. The ban followed the discovery of ash trees infected by the fungus Chalara fraxinea in England and Scotland.

The Head of Plant Health at Jersey’s Environment Department, Scott Meadows, said “The recent importation ban and the co-operation of nurseries and growers in Jersey means we haven’t detected any symptoms of Ash Dieback in Jersey so far. However, we need to be vigilant, and that’s where members of the public can help. Please take a look at the symptoms of Ash Dieback and keep an eye on the ash trees in your area. If you see possible symptoms, please contact the department.”

Mr Meadows also reminded people not to bring plant material into Jersey from other areas and to clean soil and debris from clothing, equipment and footwear before returning to the Island.

Ash Dieback symptoms

• Symptoms can be hard to spot and may also be mistaken for other disorders. In the current ash die back infection, leaves, shoots and branches and even twigs of affected trees may show leaf loss, withering and die back.
• In severe cases, the whole tree, with the exception of the trunk may show leaf loss and die back.
• Shoots may grow on unusually positioned (epicormic) buds on branches and the trunk.
• Leaves can suffer from wilting and black-brownish discoloration at the base and middle of the leaf.
• Small lens-shaped marks or spots indicating dead plant tissue can appear on the bark of stems and branches and grow into larger areas of dead tissue (cankers). Underneath the cankers, the wood may show a brown or grey discoloration running beyond the length of the canker.

A guide to help identify symptoms of Ash Dieback is available from www.gov.je

Members of the public who spot possible symptoms of the Ash Dieback disease should contact the Plant Health Department, Department of the Environment on tel: 441600 or email environmentalquiries@gov.je

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