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Wiltshire on alert for ash tree dieback disease
9:31am Thursday 1st November 2012 in News
The head gardener at Lacock Abbey has said that it is too early to tell if Chalara ash dieback has affected ash trees on its grounds.
Sue Carter said that staff are monitoring trees at the abbey because of the threat posed by a fungus known as Chalara fraxinea which has come to the UK from Europe after wiping out a large amount of ash trees.
Experts have forecasted this fungus could reap damage similar to the epidemic of Dutch Elm disease, which struck British elm trees in the 1960s and 70s.
Ms Carter said: “A few weeks ago, we were directed not to buy any ash trees but we wouldn’t have imported them anyway. At the moment, we really don’t know if the fungus has spread this far or not, we are just keeping our eyes peeled.
“In the autumn it is quite hard to tell if they’ve been affected, we will probably have to wait for now until the late spring or early summer to know for certain. It is all looking rather gloomy at the minute but we have to be hopeful.”
A Forestry Commission spokesman said this week that Savernake Forest was unlikely to suffer any major effect if the disease spreads because it comprises mainly oak, beech and pine with very few ash trees.
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