Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Ash trees threatened

The ash is one of my favourite trees. It is also one of the commonest trees in British woodlands. Unfortunately it is now threatened by ash dieback disease caused by the Chalera fraxinus fungus,. This disease has already done a lot of damage in continental Europe, killing up to 90% of ash trees in Denmark for example.

The British government has known of this disease for a while and logic and common sense would have dictated that we should ban the import of ash trees to prevent the disease reaching our shores. (Why do we need to import ash trees anyway? It's not as though we're short of our own!). Well, a ban is now in place since Monday, but that might be too late as the disease has already been found in trees in parts of England. The disease has been confirmed in a number of woodlands in England including a  Woodland Trust woodland in Suffolk and in Scotland too. Because of the delay in implementing the ban, it may be that thousands of trees near the sites of infection will be destroyed to prevent the disease spreading. George Monbiot writes in the Guardian about the politics behind the delayed ban, while Tobias Jones writes, also in the Guardian about his feelings about the ash tree. 

Hopefully the disease has been caught early enough to prevent it devastating our ash trees.

It was beautifully sunny on Friday so I wandered through Princes Street Gardens, in the centre of Edinburgh, to take photos of some of my favourite ash trees.





And a closer look at an ash tree in Dalry Cemetery, showing the ash keys and the distinctive black buds.

We don't want to lose these magnificent trees from our landscape.

Weaver of Grass also recently blogged about ash dieback.

Gabriel Hemery shares some lovely photos of ash trees in Yorkshire.

For Nature Notes

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I am the contributing poet to Daily Haiku this week, you can read today's haiku here

I'm delighted to have a haiku in the Haiku News anthology which will be out soon, you can pre-order your copy here.

I'm also delighted to have a poem in the current issue of Misty Mountain Review.

As ever, text in red contains hyper-links that take you to other web-pages where you can find out more

14 comments:

Dartford Warbler said...

I couldn`t agree more. The slow response by Government to this threat is unbelievable. Knowing how quickly ash seedlings grow, I too can`t understand why we needed to import young ash trees in the first place.

Lovely photos of your familiar ash trees.

Carol Steel 5050 said...

Your photos are wonderful. I like the way the light shows through the backs of the ash trees. I hope that it is not too late to save your ash trees. And congratulations on your publications.

Caroline Gill said...

The news is so sad. I have loved the ash tree ever since my junior school days. It's black buds always reminded me of faun feet (like Mr Tumnus)!

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

I love ash-trees too. And I have always felt it's fundamental to defend trees in any way...

While you are having beautiful days here in Venice instead there's a deluge and for tonight an exceptional high water is foreseen: 140 cm, which means serious trouble for the ground floors...

bunnits said...

Sorry to hear this. They are lovely trees. I hope it is not too late.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

It's awful when that happens especially to an iconic tree such as this is for you. We have dieback of evergreen trees in Colorado -- it was so sad to see them turning brown. I hope yours is caught on time.

Rabbits' Guy said...

Nice poetry! Quite fitting for our Ms. Sandy!

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Juliet,

Shame when trees get disease and hopefully they will get this under control.

Enjoy the day
hugs
Carolyn

Christina said...

It is indeed a beautiful tree. Congrats on your poem.

EG CameraGirl said...

How sad that ashes are being threatened there. Here the emerald ash borer beetle is killing them. Very sad.

London accountant said...

My favourite tree :( Thanks for helping to raise awareness of this problem and let's hope it doesn't get worse.

HKatz said...

Your poem hit home, particularly as here there are a number of people whose homes are destroyed or badly damaged by floods from the Frankenstorm. Congrats on publishing it.

I'd be interested to hear your take on the environmental repercussions of a huge storm like Sandy given how many changes its wrought (not least, remolding the coast line and ripping up sea beds).

Crafty Green Poet said...

HKatz - thanks for that, i wroet the poem a while ago, I'm pleased it's been published at such a timely time.

the whole storm is so big, I've not really got my head round it all. I may blog about it in the future though, as there are probably a lot of environmental implications arising from it (not least its effect on the political debate on the climate).

Rambling Woods said...

How ironic as we are going to lose all of our ash trees.. millions of them to an insect..this is so sad, I hope yours can be saved...Michelle