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We need to talk about Ash Dieback

  • 24-07-2022 10:46am
    Registered Users Posts: 7,574 ✭✭✭Cluedo Monopoly

    Ash dieback is killing almost all of our ash trees. Have you heard of it? Have you noticed it? When you do start to identify it, it's actually very sad to see.

    Ash is the most abundant tree in Irish hedgerows. It's significant for farmers but hugely important for biodiversity and providing habitats for wildlife. The tree is widely distributed across the island and is a woodland species. As one of our very few native trees, there are almost one thousand associated species that use it in some way or other. Insects and mammals use ash as a food source; some birds use it as a place to hunt, nest and breed and many bryophytes and lichens use the ash as a habitat in which to live.

    The disease has been in the country for the past decade, but its impact only really became noticeable last summer through the distressed looking leafless extremities of ash trees poking up from hedgerows across the country. Most did not come into full leaf on all their branches and the tips of the trees were instead leafless and skeletal, offering evidence of their gradual zombification.

    I have read mortality rates of over 90%. Just when we need more and more trees, we will be losing many millions of ash trees over the next few years.

    What are they doing in the Hyacinth House?