Ash Dieback

What is Ash Dieback?

It is thought that Chalara, or Ash Dieback as it is more commonly referred to, spread to Europe in the 1990s but has only, in the last few years, taken a hold on the woodland around us in a significant way. It is caused by a fungus named Hymenoscyphus fraxineus (H. fraxineus), which originates from Eastern Asia and it is estimated to result in the demise of 95% of English Ash trees. Chalara blocks the water transport systems in trees causing leaf deterioration and lesions in the wood; this ultimately results in the dieback of the crown of the Ash Tree. Young trees are particularly vulnerable but older trees (although able to resist the infection for a while) are killed slowly throughout yearly cycles of the disease. The number of infected trees in the UK is continuing to increase and the Forestry Commission is frequently reporting new infected areas.

MJO Forestry has played a major role in the safe removal of diseased Ash trees across our local woodland, in private estates and public areas. We have carried out one major roadside clearance of Ash on the B2141 and have multiple plans for further work to make our roadsides safe again. We are working alongside many estate owners and forestry managers to ensure the most dangerous trees are prioritised first.

Symptoms to Look out for
• Dark lesions on the trunk
• Blackened leaves
• Brown veins and stalks on leaves
• Dieback of twigs and branches in the crown
• Small white fruiting bodies on the leaf stalks.

If you are aware of any Ash trees with these symptoms please inform the Forestry Commission using the Tree Alert reporting tool. Three photos are required for identification purposes.

Ash Dieback in West Sussex woodland - MJO Forestry, West Dean