Ash disease is gaining ground nationwide
Published 21/10/2015 | 02:30
The disease threatening to wipe out Irish ash is gaining momentum despite a €2.3m spend on uprooting two million trees.
Confirmed outbreaks of ash dieback may potentially double, with almost the same number of confirmed findings (26) in the first six months of 2015 as for the previous year (30).
Sightings of the chronic fungal disease dipped after initially 113 incidents were detected in the first 15 months of the disease's outbreak.
The result of the Department's targeted surveys for Ash Dieback (Chalara fraxinea) for July, August and September are currently being collated.
The Farming Independent understands from forestry sources that they will mark a similar rise in incidences of the tree-killing disease that has become endemic across most of Europe since the early 1990s.
The Department have not specified which counties the confirmed findings relate to, but over a third of all findings since October 2012 have been in forestry plantations, followed by roadside planting and farm planting.
"A common denominator in the majority of these sites has been the presence of young imported plants with the infection or proximity to sites with such infected plants," said a Department spokesperson.
The Department's Reconstitution Scheme aims to eradicate the disease in affected forests by supporting the removal and destruction of trees and leaf litter, while replanting with alternative species. The Scheme has cost €2.3m to date.