Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 13:39 GMT on Saturday, 1st December 2012.
Forestry Commission confirm Ash dieback in Croy

Picture is copyright of Forestry Commission

CROY has been confirmed as a location with the Chalara fraxinea disease which has claimed up to 95% of trees in neighbouring EU countries.

Chalara dieback of ash is a serious disease of ash trees caused by a fungus called Chalara fraxinea (C. fraxinea), including its sexual stage, Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus (H. pseudoalbidus). The disease causes leaf loss and crown dieback in affected trees, and usually leads to tree death.

C. fraxinea is being treated as a quarantine pest under national emergency measures, and it is important that suspected cases of the disease are reported.

A spokesperson for the Forestry Commission said: “Hundreds of staff from government agencies checked ash trees across the UK for signs of the disease during early November.

“It was one of several actions to emerge from a meeting of the Government’s emergency committee, COBR, which Environment Secretary Owen Paterson chaired on Friday 2 November.

“Plant health experts are also undertaking a survey of about a thousand sites which have received saplings (young trees) from nurseries where Chalara dieback has been found.”

So far the confirmed findings as of 27 November 2012 include 17 nursery sites , 105 recently planted sites  and 135 in the wider environment, e.g. established woodland . According to the commission’s surveys, Croy is one the UK locations to have the disease.

“The risk of visitors spreading the disease is very small and we are not closing forests or advising owners of infected sites to do so,” a spokesperson added.

The Forestry Commission have asked that visitors travelling to an infected or suspected wood follow these steps:

do not remove any plant material (firewood, sticks, leaves or cuttings) from the woodland;

where possible, before leaving the woodland, clean soil, mud, leaves and other plant material from footwear, clothing, dogs, horses, the wheels and tyres of bicycles, baby buggies, carriages and other vehicles, and remove any leaves which are sticking to your car;

before visiting other countryside sites, parks, garden centres and nurseries, thoroughly wash footwear, wheels and tyres in soapy water;

follow the instructions on any signs.

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