Ash Dieback Disease Public Talk

Ash Trees and their Future in Britain
Ted Wilson
Silviculturist

Jubilee Institute
Rothbu...
Outline for Talk
•
•
•
•
•
•

Introduction to Tree Health
Ash – biology and history
Ash in woodlands and the landscape
Ash...
Biosecurity: Chalara is the latest on a growing list of
pests/pathogens

25th July 2012

Which tree species to plant for a...
Recent arrivals

Decade of Contagion?
2002

2003

2006

2010

2011

2012

2009
2002
2011
2005

2012
Source: Barnaby Wylder...
Ash distribution across Europe

Source: EUFORGEN
Ash in the UK

Source: Forestry Commission 2013
Ash in the UK

Source: Forestry Commission 2013
Ash in the UK

Source: Forestry Commission 2013
Foliage and Reproduction
Ash – a fine
timber tree
Uses for Ash
The World Ash Tree
Wagner – The Ring Cycle

Bryn Terfel as Wotan, holding the Ash Spear
Ring Cycle, Royal Opera, Covent Ga...
Ash in Cumbria – the Gosforth Cross
Ash in Cumbria
• > 2,400 ha of woodland
• > 550,000 individual
trees outside woodland
• Dominant species on
several soil t...
St. Andrew’s Church
Penrith

Ash is a common species
in parks and towns
Weeping ash
St. Andrew’s Church
Penrith
Physiography
of Cumbria

Borrowdale

Source: Ratcliffe, Lakeland, New Naturalist
Woodlands and trees in Borrowdale, Cumbria
Key components of the Atlantic oakwoods
in Borrowdale, Cumbria
Ancient and recent secondary woods containing a range of wo...
Biodiversity: Butterflies
Selection of species associated with western oakwoods

Sunart

Photos from Millennium Atlas

Che...
Biodiversity: Specialised western vascular plants
associated with Atlantic oakwoods
Cow wheat
Melampyrum pratense

Bladder...
Biodiversity: Mosses and liverworts

Isothecium myosuroides
Radula voluta

The lower row shows examples of species
restric...
Biodiversity: Lichens
Centre for oceanic epiphytic lichens
Particularly associated with large trees and glades

Top three
...
Ash woodland
Great Mell Fell, Cumbria
Lichens and mosses on ash
Great Mell Fell, Cumbria
Pollarded ash trees, Watendlath
Pollarded trees in Borrowdale
Ancient Ash Pollards
on the Sognefjord, Norway

Source: Kate Holl, Scottish Natural Heritage
Fraxinus excelsior pollards
Seathwaite Wood
Ash pollard
Near Rosthwaite, Borrowdale, Cumbria

Photo: E.R. Wilson 2012
Ash pollard
Photo: E.R. Wilson 2012

Near Glaramara, Borrowdale, Cumbria
Ash pollard
St John’s in the
Vale, Cumbria

E.R. Wilson 2012
Ash Dieback Disease
(Chalara fraxinea)
• Fungal infection
– Spreads by airborne spores

• First identified in Europe in
19...
Forestry Commission
How to Identify Chalara fraxinea
on ash trees

YouTube Video
Ash Dieback Disease
(Chalara fraxinea)
• November 2012 –
– Cobra Committee Meets
– Forestry Commission
National Survey –
h...
Signs of disease

Source: Forestry Commission 2012
Trace Forward: Newly planted seedling showing
signs of ash dieback disease (Chalara fraxinea)

Photo: Sharon Rodhouse 2012
Wider Environment: A mature ash tree with
Signs of ash dieback disease (Chalara fraxinea)

Photo: Sharon Rodhouse 2012
Ash Dieback in Denmark
Source: Barnaby Wylder, Forestry Commission 2012.
Ash Dieback in Sweden
Photo: Mari Jonsson,
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Ash Dieback Locations
6 November 2012

Wider Environment
Newly Planted/Nurseries

Source: Forestry Commission
Ash Dieback Locations
22 November 2012

Wider Environment
Newly Planted/Nurseries

Source: Forestry Commission
Ash Dieback Locations
18 February 2013

Wider Environment
Newly Planted/Nurseries

Source: Forestry Commission
Ash Dieback Locations
28 May 2013

Wider Environment
Newly Planted/Nurseries

Source: Forestry Commission
Confirmed reports of ash dieback disease (Chalara fraxinea) in Britain
1 November 2012 to 28 May 2013
Reports

600

Nov 20...
Recent planting

Source: Barnaby Wylder, Forestry Commission 2012.
Disease Status
28 May 2013
Confirmed Findings (UK)
•
•
•
•

Nursery Sites – 23
Recently planted sites – 296
Wider environm...
Disease Status
28 May 2013
Confirmed Findings (UK)
•
•
•
•

Nursery Sites – 23
Recently planted sites – 296
Wider environm...
Proposed Map of
Important Ash Locations

Ash in Northumberland
Ash in Cumbria

Source: Interim Chalara Control Plan
Defra,...
Ancient Ash Woodlands in
Northumberland

Source: Brown, K. 2006. A survey of the extent and condition of Ancient Woodlands...
Action on Ash
• National Strategy
– Latest update, late March 2013
– Focus on research, monitoring, diagnosis
– Regulation...
Research on Ash

Source: Jo Clark, Earth Trust
Resistance
Highly susceptible

Fraxinus excelsior
Fraxinus angustifolia
Fraxinus niger

Moderately susceptible

Least susc...
Research on Intensive Treatments

Source: O’Callaghan 2013
Citizen Science
• A range of great projects are underway!
• AshTag – identification/report suspected cases
• Phone app
• U...
Roadside Survey of Ash (Fraxinus excelsior)
A66 Penrith to Keswick, 11 Nov 2012

St John’s in the Vale

Lake District, Cum...
Continuous band of common ash
saplings (natural regeneration)
on north side of A66

Photo: E.R. Wilson 2012

View looking ...
Roadside Survey of Ash (Fraxinus excelsior)
A66 Penrith to Keswick, 11 Nov 2012

West

Potential disease spread from East
...
Conclusions
• Ash is among the most important native species in Britain
– Ecological, biodiversity, landscape, cultural, e...
Conclusions
• Opportunities for citizen involvement/partnership
– Mapping the high value locations – cultural/ecological
v...
Further Information
•

•
•
•
•
•

Forestry Commission
– www.forestry.gov.uk/chalara
– 08459 33 55 77 (open 8am - 6pm every...
Ash pollard
St John’s in the Vale, Cumbria

Photo: E.R. Wilson 2012
Ash Dieback Disease Public Talk

Acknowledgements
My thanks to the following colleagues: Barnaby Wylder, Forestry
Commissi...
Ash trees and their future in Britain
Ash trees and their future in Britain
Ash trees and their future in Britain
Ash trees and their future in Britain
Ash trees and their future in Britain
Ash trees and their future in Britain
Ash trees and their future in Britain
Ash trees and their future in Britain
Ash trees and their future in Britain
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Ash trees and their future in Britain

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This is a public talk given at the Jubilee Institute, Rothbury, Northumberland on 30 May 2013.

The presentation provides an overview of the role and importance of ash in British woodlands, and then goes on to describe the ash dieback disease (Chalara fraxinea). The current status and spread of the disease is discussed, together with a summary of current strategies to understand and control the spread of the pathogen. Important populations of ash are identified, especially those in Cumbria, and the lecture highlights the potential impact of the dieback disease on the natural and cultural heritage of Britain.

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Ash trees and their future in Britain

  1. 1. Ash Dieback Disease Public Talk Ash Trees and their Future in Britain Ted Wilson Silviculturist Jubilee Institute Rothbury, Northumberland 30 May 2013 First presented: 30 05 2013 This version: 1.1, 31 10 2013
  2. 2. Outline for Talk • • • • • • Introduction to Tree Health Ash – biology and history Ash in woodlands and the landscape Ash dieback disease (Chalara fraxinea) Action: Hope for the future? Questions
  3. 3. Biosecurity: Chalara is the latest on a growing list of pests/pathogens 25th July 2012 Which tree species to plant for a changing environment Source: Forestry Commission 2012
  4. 4. Recent arrivals Decade of Contagion? 2002 2003 2006 2010 2011 2012 2009 2002 2011 2005 2012 Source: Barnaby Wylder 2013
  5. 5. Ash distribution across Europe Source: EUFORGEN
  6. 6. Ash in the UK Source: Forestry Commission 2013
  7. 7. Ash in the UK Source: Forestry Commission 2013
  8. 8. Ash in the UK Source: Forestry Commission 2013
  9. 9. Foliage and Reproduction
  10. 10. Ash – a fine timber tree
  11. 11. Uses for Ash
  12. 12. The World Ash Tree Wagner – The Ring Cycle Bryn Terfel as Wotan, holding the Ash Spear Ring Cycle, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, 2012
  13. 13. Ash in Cumbria – the Gosforth Cross
  14. 14. Ash in Cumbria • > 2,400 ha of woodland • > 550,000 individual trees outside woodland • Dominant species on several soil types/ locations • Important associate in many woodlands • Source: Forestry Commission Source: Flora of Cumbria, 1997
  15. 15. St. Andrew’s Church Penrith Ash is a common species in parks and towns
  16. 16. Weeping ash St. Andrew’s Church Penrith
  17. 17. Physiography of Cumbria Borrowdale Source: Ratcliffe, Lakeland, New Naturalist
  18. 18. Woodlands and trees in Borrowdale, Cumbria
  19. 19. Key components of the Atlantic oakwoods in Borrowdale, Cumbria Ancient and recent secondary woods containing a range of woodland types1 Complex of woodland types: Oak-birch woodland (W17) Birch woodland (W4, W11,W17) Oak-hazel woodland (W9, W11) Hazel woodland (W?9) Hazel-ash woodland (W9) Sallow scrub (W?1-6) Ash-wych elm woodland (W9) Holly and/or rowan scrub (W??) Alder-ash woodland on mineral soil (W7) Alder-willow woodland on organic soil (W1-6) Beech-oak woodland (W14, W15) 1Coding from National Vegetation Classification (Rodwell 1991) Source: G.Peterken
  20. 20. Biodiversity: Butterflies Selection of species associated with western oakwoods Sunart Photos from Millennium Atlas Chequered skipper Dartmoor woods High brown fritillary Pearl-bordered fritillary Brown hairstreak Green hairstreak Silver-washed fritillary Purple emperor
  21. 21. Biodiversity: Specialised western vascular plants associated with Atlantic oakwoods Cow wheat Melampyrum pratense Bladderseed Physospermum cornubiense Irish spurge Euphorbia hyberna Bastard balm Melittis melissophyllum Pictures: G. Peterken
  22. 22. Biodiversity: Mosses and liverworts Isothecium myosuroides Radula voluta The lower row shows examples of species restricted to an oceanic climate (‘Atlantic bryophytes’). Moisture and light levels are key habitat determinants. Plagiochila atlantica Adelanthus descipiens Photos from Porley and Hodgetts, New Naturalist 97 Source: G.Peterken
  23. 23. Biodiversity: Lichens Centre for oceanic epiphytic lichens Particularly associated with large trees and glades Top three native tree genera Number of species Oaks 303 Ash 230 Beech 194 Name of Wood, Location Number of species Camasine Woods, Sunart 174 Great Wood, Borrowdale 101 Low Stile Wood, Borrowdale 103 Coed Crafnant 100 Dizzard, Cornwall 114 New Forest, individual woods 116-160 Lowland coppices 10-70 Lowland oak plantations 16-80 Early surveys by Francis Rose, 1974 Source: G.Peterken
  24. 24. Ash woodland Great Mell Fell, Cumbria
  25. 25. Lichens and mosses on ash Great Mell Fell, Cumbria
  26. 26. Pollarded ash trees, Watendlath
  27. 27. Pollarded trees in Borrowdale
  28. 28. Ancient Ash Pollards on the Sognefjord, Norway Source: Kate Holl, Scottish Natural Heritage
  29. 29. Fraxinus excelsior pollards Seathwaite Wood
  30. 30. Ash pollard Near Rosthwaite, Borrowdale, Cumbria Photo: E.R. Wilson 2012
  31. 31. Ash pollard Photo: E.R. Wilson 2012 Near Glaramara, Borrowdale, Cumbria
  32. 32. Ash pollard St John’s in the Vale, Cumbria E.R. Wilson 2012
  33. 33. Ash Dieback Disease (Chalara fraxinea) • Fungal infection – Spreads by airborne spores • First identified in Europe in 1992 (Poland) • High levels of mortality reported in Denmark • Small degree of genetic resistance known (2-5%) • February 2012 – consignment of seedlings from Netherlands • October 2012 – Fera confirmed first cases in “wider environment” Photo: Forestry Commission 2012
  34. 34. Forestry Commission How to Identify Chalara fraxinea on ash trees YouTube Video
  35. 35. Ash Dieback Disease (Chalara fraxinea) • November 2012 – – Cobra Committee Meets – Forestry Commission National Survey – hundreds of staff across agencies – Trace Forward surveys ongoing • Disease Categories: – Nursery sites – Recently planted sites – Wider environment, e.g. established woodland Photo: Forestry Commission 2012
  36. 36. Signs of disease Source: Forestry Commission 2012
  37. 37. Trace Forward: Newly planted seedling showing signs of ash dieback disease (Chalara fraxinea) Photo: Sharon Rodhouse 2012
  38. 38. Wider Environment: A mature ash tree with Signs of ash dieback disease (Chalara fraxinea) Photo: Sharon Rodhouse 2012
  39. 39. Ash Dieback in Denmark Source: Barnaby Wylder, Forestry Commission 2012.
  40. 40. Ash Dieback in Sweden Photo: Mari Jonsson, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  41. 41. Ash Dieback Locations 6 November 2012 Wider Environment Newly Planted/Nurseries Source: Forestry Commission
  42. 42. Ash Dieback Locations 22 November 2012 Wider Environment Newly Planted/Nurseries Source: Forestry Commission
  43. 43. Ash Dieback Locations 18 February 2013 Wider Environment Newly Planted/Nurseries Source: Forestry Commission
  44. 44. Ash Dieback Locations 28 May 2013 Wider Environment Newly Planted/Nurseries Source: Forestry Commission
  45. 45. Confirmed reports of ash dieback disease (Chalara fraxinea) in Britain 1 November 2012 to 28 May 2013 Reports 600 Nov 2012 Dec 2012 Jan 2013 Mar 2013 Feb 2013 Apr 2013 May 2013 500 400 300 200 100 0 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 Days from Start of Outbreak Nursery Sites Wider Environment Recently Planted Sites Total Data: Forestry Commission 2012-2013 Graphic: AshStat/Silviculture Research International © 2013
  46. 46. Recent planting Source: Barnaby Wylder, Forestry Commission 2012.
  47. 47. Disease Status 28 May 2013 Confirmed Findings (UK) • • • • Nursery Sites – 23 Recently planted sites – 296 Wider environment – 183 Total: 502 Confirmed Findings (Cumbria) • Nursery Sites – 0 • Recently planted sites – 9 • Wider environment – 0 • Total: 9
  48. 48. Disease Status 28 May 2013 Confirmed Findings (UK) • • • • Nursery Sites – 23 Recently planted sites – 296 Wider environment – 183 Total: 502 Confirmed Findings (Northumbria) • Nursery Sites/Recently planted sites – 3 • Wider environment – 1 • Total: 4
  49. 49. Proposed Map of Important Ash Locations Ash in Northumberland Ash in Cumbria Source: Interim Chalara Control Plan Defra, 6 December 2012
  50. 50. Ancient Ash Woodlands in Northumberland Source: Brown, K. 2006. A survey of the extent and condition of Ancient Woodlands in Northumberland. Northumberland Native Woodland Project/Forestry Commission
  51. 51. Action on Ash • National Strategy – Latest update, late March 2013 – Focus on research, monitoring, diagnosis – Regulations and international partnerships – Still gather science information/exploring options for management/containment – Encourage local action • Community Action and Citizen Science – Range of programmes being developed
  52. 52. Research on Ash Source: Jo Clark, Earth Trust
  53. 53. Resistance Highly susceptible Fraxinus excelsior Fraxinus angustifolia Fraxinus niger Moderately susceptible Least susceptible Fraxinus ornus Fraxinus pennsylvanica Fraxinus americana Fraxinus mandschurica Also promising signs of some resistance in populations of F. excelsior in Europe; evidence 1-2% of ash population in Denmark may show some level of useful resistance
  54. 54. Research on Intensive Treatments Source: O’Callaghan 2013
  55. 55. Citizen Science • A range of great projects are underway! • AshTag – identification/report suspected cases • Phone app • University of East Anglia • OPAL - Tree Buddy Initiative • Natural History Museum • www.opalexplorenature.org • Treezilla – map of British trees/ecosystem benefits • Open University • www.treezilla.org • Launch 14 June 2013 • Other projects • Woodland Trust • Tree Council • Local Wildlife Trusts
  56. 56. Roadside Survey of Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) A66 Penrith to Keswick, 11 Nov 2012 St John’s in the Vale Lake District, Cumbria Watendlath Borrowdale
  57. 57. Continuous band of common ash saplings (natural regeneration) on north side of A66 Photo: E.R. Wilson 2012 View looking east from near Scales, Cumbria
  58. 58. Roadside Survey of Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) A66 Penrith to Keswick, 11 Nov 2012 West Potential disease spread from East East 14 Ash Density Score 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 Keswick 8 7 6 5 4 3 A66/M6 Junction 40 Continuous distribution, high density Ancient Ash Trees Borrowdale 1 Penrith Distance in Kilometres A66/A591 Junction 2 Continuous distribution, moderate density Discontinuous distribution, low density No ash present
  59. 59. Conclusions • Ash is among the most important native species in Britain – Ecological, biodiversity, landscape, cultural, economic values • Ash dieback is one of several very nasty diseases affecting trees in Britain at the current time • Ash dieback disease is spreading into the “wider environment” mainly from the south and east of England • There are many uncertainties about the disease and its rate of spread • At best, we may be able to slow the disease, but based on current information we are likely to lose many mature trees, in time • We expect most ash populations to be affected over the next few years but a small percent of trees will likely to be resistant/tolerant • Research is a key element of future strategies: – Ecological and successionary impacts, and landscape impacts – Genetics and ecological research – Novel plant health treatments for individual (high value) trees, using new technologies and fungicides
  60. 60. Conclusions • Opportunities for citizen involvement/partnership – Mapping the high value locations – cultural/ecological values – Monitoring – professionals and citizen engagement – Science to inform future action – initiated and pending – Cultural and Arts Projects – Celebrating the Age of Ash
  61. 61. Further Information • • • • • • Forestry Commission – www.forestry.gov.uk/chalara – 08459 33 55 77 (open 8am - 6pm every day) – plant.health@forestry.gsi.gov.uk Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) – www.fera.defra.gov.uk TreeWatch - Sylva Foundation – www.sylva.org.uk/treewatch AshTag – http://ashtag.org/ Future Trees Trust – www.futuretrees.org Woodland Trust – www.woodlandtrust.org.uk
  62. 62. Ash pollard St John’s in the Vale, Cumbria Photo: E.R. Wilson 2012
  63. 63. Ash Dieback Disease Public Talk Acknowledgements My thanks to the following colleagues: Barnaby Wylder, Forestry Commission; Kate Holl, Scottish Natural Heritage; Mari Jonsson, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences; Sharon Rodhouse; Jo Clark, Earth Trust Further Information Ted Wilson Silviculture Research International 45a King Street, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 7AY www.silviculture.org.uk First presented: 30 05 2013 This version: 1.0, 30 05 2013

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