Join the fight against deadly ash dieback disease and help preserve Irish forestry
As our ash trees come into full leaf, efforts are being redoubled to alert the public, and especially forest owners, to be watchful for symptoms of ash dieback disease.
At this stage, the authorities are still in eradication mode, whereas mainland Britain has moved onto containment mode.
This is basically an acceptance that the disease is now widespread there, especially in England. To date, the only instances of the disease identified in Ireland, north and south, have been in imported stock of forest transplants. So for the time being, efforts are concentrating on those areas known to have been planted with imported trees.
Fortunately, the greater proportion of ash planting in recent years has been from homegrown nursery stock.
The original 11 sites that were confirmed positive were planted with trees of Danish provenance shipped to Ireland via a broker in the Netherlands.
To date, 535ha of ash in the Republic have been identified for removal, including 36 plantations which have tested positive for the disease, and another 147 associated sites where material from the same infected batch has also been planted.
The 535ha are spread over 183 sites involving 175 owners. In total, 48 batches of imported plants contained some infected material.