Today (April 30) an updated Tree Health Management Plan has been published by the Government’s Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Expert Taskforce, alongside a wider Plant Biosecurity Strategy.
Reacting to the reports, a spokesperson at the National Trust said: “We welcome the publication of the strategy but it is unclear if there is sufficient funding or resources being allocated to this problem to really make a difference.
“Trees and plants don’t have votes so cuts to Defra’s budgets are sometimes seen as easier for Government but the consequences can be devastating for our wildlife, landscapes and rural economy.”
Trees in a Somerset plantation have survived with ash dieback (Chalara fraxinea) for far longer than previously thought possible, suggesting there may be potential to slow the spread of the disease in the British countryside after all.
Only ten per cent of the six thousand ash trees at the Holnicote plantation are showing any signs of the disease, despite having been infected for five years longer than any other tree in the UK so far.
The disease is present in one other small plantation nearby but doesn’t appear to have spread any further – which is at odds with Government predictions which suggests it should have spread further and infected more trees in this time.