Department ups ante with 22 outbreaks of Ash fungus
The Department of Agriculture is to step up its Ash Dieback (Chalara) eradication measures as the disease takes a firm grip on Irish plantations.
All ash trees from confirmed positive imported consignments are to be destroyed under the measures, with Department of Agriculture officials to supervise the destruction and re-establishment of these sites.
A re-establishment grant will be made available to the owners of private plantations which are part of the Department's current afforestation programme.
Ash plants from the infected batches supplied to other sites will also be destroyed.
Early results from a winter survey of woodlands have revealed further positive samples for the presence of Chalara.
The number of positive cases now stands at 22 sites, including 15 young plantations, six horticultural nurseries and one ornamental garden site.
The disease has been confirmed in plantations in counties Leitrim, Meath, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Waterford, Carlow, Kildare, Laois, Longford and Galway.