Rain

Rain

max temp: 3°C

min temp: 1°C

Search

Suffolk: Trees show resilience to dreaded ash dieback

PUBLISHED: 10:08 16 May 2014

Ash dieback

Ash dieback

Archant

Wildlife experts have said there are reasons for optimism despite the continued spread of ash dieback.

Although a recent report suggested that half of East Anglia’s ash will be infected by 2018, due to air borne spores of the chalara fraxinea fungus, many already affected by the disease are showing a high level of resilience.

Julian Roughton, chief executive of Suffolk Wildlife Trust, said: “This issue of low resistance but high resilience is being borne out where we are seeing the disease in that there are a lot of ash trees with it but, so far, relatively few being killed by the disease. We can see this spring that there are new shoots coming up and the trees are responding. They are not being killed, but they are certainly being affected. The disease is certainly very widespread.”

Mr Roughton said even on reserves such as Arger Fen near Sudbury, where dieback can clearly be seen, there is also new grow and healthy trees.

“When you are walking round Arger Fen it is very visible because young trees are much more affected by the disease than older trees” he said. “All of the ash there are under eight-years-old and it is very evident the disease is there - you can see the majority of trees have it. But having said that, there are healthy trees there as well so from our point of view that is interesting.”

He added: “What is interesting for us is whether the ash trees that look healthy will continue to look healthy in one or two year’s time. Even those that look sick, many of them are sending new shoots through. Some of them have been killed, but many more are showing high resilience.”

The disease has also provided opportunities for other trees, with field maple, oak, hawthorn and birch all doing well at Hullbacks due to ash being held back by the toxic fungus. Mr Roughton added: “In a way it is actually giving things a break that are not as competitive in ash. It certainly has resulted in a more interesting wood than would have been the case.”

A project with the Forestry Commission to plant ash with a wide range of genetic sources at the Peck’s Piece on Arger Fen also appears positive, although it is still in the early stages.

Mr Roughton said: “There the ash dieback does not look as prevalent, but it is very early days in terms of that experiment. Those trees have only been there literally only 12 months. They were every small last year, so this year is going to be interesting year in terms of monitoring impact.”

He added the Trust’s main concern continued to be the impact on veteran trees with significant landscape value.

Drivers in Woodbridge have faced long delays this afternoon after a major route through the town became flooded.

Colchester MP Will Quince has described a knife attack in the town that left a teenager seriously hurt as “deeply alarming”.

Police wants to speak to two teenagers about an attempted murder in Colchester in the early hours of this morning.

The shocking prevalence of rape in Ipswich has been uncovered in an EADT and Star investigation.

Ed Sheeran has got engaged to his partner Cherry Seaborn, the Framlingham singer has confirmed on Instagram.

Emergency services have been called to the scene of a car having gone into a ditch on the A12 near Darsham

Snow could fall in parts of Suffolk on Sunday morning as temperatures are set to drop overnight.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

London Boat Show 2018

cover

Click here to view
London Boat
Show supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24