16/07/2014

86,000 Young Trees Culled In Ash Dieback Control

Some 86,000 young trees have been destroyed to prevent the spread of 'Ash Dieback' into the wider environment, according to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

"Over 3,000 site inspections have been carried out since the disease was first found here in November 2012," said Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill. "To date 93 sites have been confirmed with Ash Dieback infection. Of these, 90 were recent plantings around the province, with three findings on imported stock in trade. There have been no confirmed reports of C. fraxinea infecting mature ash trees in the north."

Minister O'Neill has encouraged landowners and the public to be aware of the symptoms of the tree disease and report any sightings to her Department.

The announcement follows an all-Ireland joint conference on Chalara Ash Dieback in Dundalk in May of this year.

"The common ash (Fraxinus excelsior) is an integral part of our local landscape - in field hedges, as a component of woodlands, roadside plantings, and as single mature specimens in the countryside," a statement from DARD said. "Chalara Ash Dieback is caused by a fungal pathogen (Chalara fraxinea) which causes dieback of young shoots and may eventually lead to the death of the tree."

Minister O'Neill added: "Forest Service Plant Health Inspectors have undertaken a comprehensive programme of surveillance for the disease.

"Surveillance plans for the 2014 season are well underway, with Forest Service Plant Health Inspectors firstly revisiting and inspecting the areas around previously confirmed outbreak sites. Further surveys of both recently planted and mature ash will then be undertaken over the summer period.

"While DARD continues to monitor the situation closely and destroy infected plants promptly and effectively, I would encourage landowners and members of the public to continue to help us prevent this disease spreading by looking out for symptoms of Ash Dieback, and reporting them to DARD."

The main symptoms to look out for are:

• wilting and blackening of young shoots

• loss of leaves from the top of the tree

• darker diamond shaped lesion on the bark where the shoot joins the main trunk

• fruiting bodies (3-5mm size creamy coloured 'mushroom shaped structures') on dead leaf litter during June to October.

The first recorded outbreak of the disease in Northern Ireland was in November 2012.

(IT/JP)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

27 July 2022
St George's To Host NI's First Young Traders Market
Belfast's historic St George's Market is set to host one of ten regional finals of a major nationwide campaign to encourage young retail entrepreneurs to set up market stalls. More than fifty 16 to 30-year-olds are set to take place in the event on Wednesday 03 August.
16 June 2022
75 Young Women Attend STEAM Careers Event
A group of seventy five young women have participated in a construction sector careers open day at the site of Belfast Grand Central Station.
14 March 2022
Bank Of Ireland Backs Programme To Teach Pupils About Finances
Bank of Ireland UK has partnered wth Young Enterprise NI to bring financial capability programmes to almost 8,000 young people across schools in Northern Ireland. Bank of Ireland has supported Young Enterprise since 2013, enabling them to provide young students with the skills and confidence to successfully manage their finances.
25 February 2022
Estimated 20,000 Young People Not In Education Or Work
An estimated 20,000 young people in Northern Ireland who were not in education, employment or training (NEET) in the last three months to December 2021. The Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency (NISRA) has published the latest statistics on NEET young people.
14 February 2022
Jonathan Rea Helps Launch Motorcycle Awareness Campaign
Six-time World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea has helped launch a new motorcycle awareness campaign.