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Ash die back disease

Diseased ash, May 2011 (photo by HermannFalkner/sokol, Flikr. Used under Creative Commons license
Diseased ash, May 2011 (photo by HermannFalkner/sokol, Flikr. Used under Creative Commons license)

As you may be aware, many of our woodland and forest sites are being infected by a rampant disease caused by the fungus Chalara fraxinea. Ash makes up 30% of UK’s indigenous woodland and it’s affect could be as dramatic as Dutch elm disease in the 70s and 80s.

Although it consists mainly oak and hornbeam, Coldfall Woods is also home to a variety of other trees including ash, and the public is urged to help in an attempt to map and help prevent the spread of the disease across the country. The AshTag app for smartphones has been recently launched as well as the Forestry Commission’s guide (pdf) to spotting the disease.

Wilting and die-back of foliage, branches and stems are characteristic. There are also signs on the guide above to look out for in winter when the leaves have dropped.

If you think you’ve spotted Ash tree fungus, please send in your sighting at

One reply on “Ash die back disease”

In fact, there aren’t many ash trees in Coldfall Wood but there are THOUSANDS next door in the huge cemetery (Islington-owned and managed). Most are youngish self-seeded trees with some impressive mature ones. Once the disease gets to work there, its effects are likely to be severe.

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