New hope for woodland owners battling Ash Dieback

22 April 2016

The CLA, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, has today welcomed a breakthrough in tree health as Government scientists have identified the country’s first ash tree showing tolerance to ash dieback.

The tree located in woodland in Norfolk raises the possibility of using selective breeding to develop strains of trees that are tolerant to the disease, ensuring that ash trees will thrive in UK woodland.

CLA President Ross Murray said: “Ash is one of Britain’s iconic trees and the loss of the ash species would be devastating to the ecology and landscape of our countryside, as well as those woodland owners that rely on ash stock.

“This breakthrough highlights the value of good science in identifying resistant strains and holds the promise that although ash will be a much less common feature of our countryside in the immediate future, there is hope that a more resilient version can be nurtured and be enjoyed by our grandchildren.”

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