Defra has announced a £1.5 million project to find ash trees that have a natural resistance to the Chalara (dieback) disease. Some 250,000 young trees will be planted, from existing stock bought by the Government, mostly in East Anglia, where the disease is most prevalent. Fourteen potential chemical treatments for Chalara have been sent for laboratory testing.‘We know we can’t stop Chalara infecting our ash trees, so we have to throw our resources into managing it and slowing the spread,’ explains Environment Secretary Owen Paterson.

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‘A key part of that strategy will be identifying those trees that have a natural resistance to the disease so that we can restock our woodlands in the future.’ Defra will give financial help to landowners in replacing young trees that have the disease. CLA president Harry Cotterell says: ‘We are particularly pleased the Government has resisted the temptation to issue compulsory felling notices and chosen to give landowners help with infected trees.’ The National Trust is to inspect all young ash trees on its land.

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  • Bede Howell

    There will be an awful lot of work for tree surgeons!