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Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Ash tree virus

The spread of the Chalara virus amongst ash trees is now reported at 52 sites across the UK, ranging from Bournemouth to Edinburgh. In order to try to reduce risk of further spreading the Forestry Commission has made the following suggestions:

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

Where possible, before leaving the woodland, clean soil mud and leaves from footwear, bicycle wheels and tyres.

Before visiting other countrside sites, garden centres and nurseries thoroughly wash footwear, bicycle wheel and tyres.

A bit late, really, but better than never. This implies that we should restrict our trips to just one woodland area per ride- or carry a bucket of water and a brush?



Longranger said...

I was thinking of the design for a rack-mounted bucket, without drilling through the bucket, but the c of g would be too high. Still, the old window cleaners used to carry a ladder as well!

Martin said...

Current evidence suggests the main transport vectors are the wind and plant breeders; unless someone has managed to cycle all the way from Norffolk to Scotland with infected soil still on their wheels.


Trexrider said...

Henceforth each ranger shall carry two sets of tyres and change them at the end and start of each area of woodland.
Perhaps Les could also arrange for a bin of various tyre sizes at the end of trails so that visitors could select a suitable tyre change if caught out by surprise woodland areas during a journey.
On busy routes a Ranger with a set of Sustrans tyre levers should also be available to help out damsels in distress during such adversity. Not me though as damsels in distress usually run away when I offer to help!

Martin said...

Interesting piece on Radio 4 Farming Today this morning suggesting that ash trees in the east of Britain are genetically more closely related to East European ash trees than those in western Britain, which arrived from Portugal/Spain at the end of the last ice age. They believe the western varieties may be more resistant to this particular fungus than those of East European origin, and that this genetic difference could speed up eventual re-colonisation.

Pitty nurseries did not make more use of the abundant supplies of ash saplings already in this country before sending seeds to mainland Europe for germination and infection.