Manx Government tackles Ash Dieback Disease

Ash Dieback Disease (Cholera fraxinus) has been caused major problems in the west of continental Europe where it has killed something like 90% of the trees infected. Unfortunately, it has spread to parts of the United Kingdom and Eire and increasing numbers of trees have been infected.  It is spread by the wind via fungal spores. The spores can travel up to something like 30-40km from area to area. Its spread to Eire and UK seems to have resulted from human spread of trees and plant material.

So far there are no reported Manx incidents of the disease. In the Isle of Man Ash can often be found in hedgerows and small areas of woodland. However, the Rowan Tree that is common in hedge rows and is sometimes known as Mountain Ash is not part of the Ash family and so not vulnerable to infection.

Although the distance of the Isle of Man from Eire and the UK should secure it from natural spread the Manx Government has taken action to prevent the human and plant material road of infection. In early November last year the Isle of Man Government implemented the The Plant Health (Ash Die Back Prevention) Order, which prohibits the importation of Ash products, seeds and plants into the Island. This is to counter the threat to Manx Woodland.

In the meantime The Manx Wildlife Trust are helping DEFA-Rheynn Chymmyltaght, Bee as Eirynis (The Department of Environment Food and Agriculture) to monitor existing trees.

Relevant links

The website for the Manx Wildlife Trust: