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Ash Dieback Disease Found in Dorset


11:44am 20th August 2013

A case the tree disease Ash Dieback has been confirmed in woodland near Dorchester.

Ash dieback OR Chalara, was discovered in England's woodlands last Autumn after it ravaged Ash trees across Europe.

Dorset is now the 13th County in England where the disease has been discovered. Cases have also been reported in nearby Wiltshire and Devon.

Efforts are now being made to try to stop the infection spreading further.

At the time of the outbreak last year, there had been no confirmed cases for Dorset. But the County Council took threw caution to the wind and appealed to forest walkers and gardeners to look out for signs of Ash Dieback.

Symptoms include the premature loss of leaves from the outer parts of the crown (top and sides) and long diamond-shaped lesions or areas of sunken and discoloured bark on twigs.

Fungus spores can easily spread when the wind is high.

DEFRA told Wessex FM this morning (Tuesday 20th August) anyone walking through forest or woodland should ensure they clean their boots after a walk to avoid cross contamination.

They're also warning people no to destroy infected trees. They will eventually die out so you should leave them because they still help the eco system.

DEFRA told us they're carrying out research to try and find a solution to Ash Dieback in their scientific labs.

Martin Ward, Chief Plant Health Officer said:

"We expected to see new cases once the leaves came through on ash trees.  The better informed we are, the more effective we can be in our work to reduce the impact of this disease and we will be investigating this new case closely."

As part of the Government's plan to manage Chalara, published in March, work is ongoing to identify genetic resistance in ash trees. Saplings have been planted in sites across East Anglia to expose them to Chalara and they will be monitored to see which ones show signs of resisting the disease.

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