Good news on tree virus AONB reports

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Nidderdale AONB has said it has not had any indication ash dieback has affected its trees.

There have been 10 cases of the disease reported in Yorkshire but the AONB has said it does not see a reason to be overly concerned.

Ash dieback has been reported in over 150 locations in the UK and causes leaf dieback in affected trees possibly leading to tree death.

Spokeswoman for Nidderdale AONB, Kelly Harmer said: “There is still different information coming in with relation to the ash dieback from the forestry commission and other groups.

“Given that it is almost winter and leaves have already dropped it is unlikely that the infected trees are still sporulating.”

The Forestry Commission has been carrying out surveys in the Nidderdale area and has yet to find any indication of the disease which can kill ash trees.

Kelly Harmer said: “As the ash tree is a native tree to the UK, it has more genetic variation which makes it more robust to diseases.”

Nidderdale AONB said it is taking into account literature published by the Botanical Society of the British Isles which states: “On the face of it, it seems unlikely that Chalara fraxinea will decimate wild populations of ash in Britain.

“It is most likely to infect a proportion of saplings, simply forcing natural selection of the surviving, disease-tolerant varieties.

“British ash trees already tolerate at least 100 other pests and diseases, so one more is not likely to make a big difference.”

Ms Harmer however said: “We are still working to keep people aware of the situation so people can still keep a check on things.”

For more information on ash dieback accross the district turn to page six.