Ash trees have a significant place in many of our churchyards, so the recent media reports of a serious fungal threat to these trees is of particular concern.
The funguschalara fraxinea could decimate our Ash population in much the same way as Elm disease did in the last century.
Churches are being asked to monitor their Ash trees whilst they are still in leave.
The leaves wilt from the tips, but as this is common to other conditions, the main identifying feature is the bark. Lesions appear on the bark’s surface and can grow considerably in size. The bark underneath is often discoloured and grey or brownish. It can kill the tree or lead to substantial die-back of the crown.
ARocha, the Christian environmental charity, is taking the lead role in this and asks parishes to send any photos or descriptions of trees with these symptons in your churchyard, together with location details and a contact name, to them – email: ARocha. Please put TREE in the subject line.
For further information, view document from the Forestry Commission.