Ash Dieback. Preventions, cures, and narrow minds.

Originally this post was just going to be about ash dieback and has sat as a draft for months, but after surveying some elm’s on a recent condition inspection I feel the time is right and the elms are getting involved as well.

Nearly ten years ago this article was published, and as much as I’d like to say things and attitudes have changed, they haven’t.

Now despite the rhetoric pushed by certain parties who have a vested interest in convincing the general public that trees and woodlands are doomed and there’s no cure, it’s how most of these charities create their income stream, the science says otherwise. The science also says the theoretical 90% of ash trees will die is a load of rubbish as well.

The truth is there are preventative measures that can be taken to prevent the spread that doesn’t rely on the slash and burn, or in this case, mechanical fell and whack through a chipper, and it would appear there is a cure for trees infected with ash dieback fungus, but these have either been ruled out as not cost-effective or aren’t approved for use in the UK.

What was the only preventative fungicide shown to work on dutch elm disease, well the only one with UK approval, has had its approval removed by the EU. Two of the four substances shown to work against Chalara fraxinea, are no longer approved. Even the substance shown to work on bacterial bleeding canker in horse chestnuts is not approved for professional use, although Mr Smith can trot down B&Q and buy the same stuff to spray on his cherry trees.

Now I’m not advocating spraying fungicides all over creation to stop this problem, but when targeted control with tree injection has been shown to work, should we not at least be trying to help? We have the equipment available, some of us have the knowledge, so why not let us try?

For all of the governments and various NGO’s talk of climate change, plant more trees to help, save the woodlands and listen to the science you’d think they’d at least consider listening.