Project to save trees and woodland from ash dieback launched
A major project is being put in place to save an ancient woodland from ash dieback in The National Arboretum in Gloucestershire
First discovered in the UK in 2012, chalara ash dieback is still on the increase in the UK and has now been found among trees in Silk Wood, one of the oldest parts of Westonbirt, The National Arboretum in Gloucestershire.
Forestry England is embarking on a major project to try to save the ancient woodland, by replacing many of the older ash trees with a wide variety of tree species that are more resilient to pests and diseases. Chalara ash dieback, which is caused by the fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, thins the tree’s crown, ultimately leading to the death of the tree. Its spread is difficult to prevent as it travels on wind-borne fungus spores. Although the project will mean Silk Wood will look and feel very different, it will eventually result in a healthier woodland.
According to the Woodland Trust, Hymenoscyphus fraxineus will affect 95 per cent of ash trees across the UK. It can affect trees of all ages and symptoms include leaves developing dark patches in summer that wilt and discolour to black, shoots and leaves dying back, which is visible in summer, lesions where branches meet the trunk and new growth from previously dormant buds further down the trunk (a common response to stress in trees).
Another example of struggling trees in the UK is the horse chestnut, which has been added to the The European Red List of Trees and classed as 'vulnerable' following declines caused by the leaf-miner moth (Cameraria ohridella).
The list blames invasive species, unsustainable logging and urban development for the decline in tree health and trees and 58 per cent of Europe’s 454 endemic tree species are on the ‘at risk’ list.
For more information on the new plans for Westonbirt, head to Forestry England.
13 issues for £30 when you subscribe
Subscribe to Gardens Illustrated magazine and receive your first 13 issues for £30!
Transform your Garden- Special Edition
Transform Your Garden
This special edition features advice on designing your garden from the world’s top garden designers, including top tips for redesigning your plot or creating a new garden from scratch.
Discover eight inspirational gardens in town and country, and beautiful planting ideas for year-round colour. Learn how to make the most of a small space, how to cope with a slope, and the ten most common mistakes people make, according to professional garden designers, and how to avoid them.
Enjoy insights on everything from paths and parking spaces to wildflowers and water features, so that you can be confident in starting to create the garden of your dreams.
Just £9.99 inc UK p&p
Gardens of the Globe
From botanical wonders in Australia to tranquil havens closer to home in Ireland, let this guide help you to discover some of the most glorious gardens around the world