Hope for ash dieback as Somerset trees show resistance
Trees in a Somerset estate have survived ash dieback for far longer than previously thought possible – suggesting there may be potential to slow the spread of the disease in the British countryside.
The National Trust said only 10% of the 6,000 ash trees at its Holnicote estate, near Minehead, are showing any signs of the disease, despite having been infected for five years longer than any other tree in the UK so far.
Ash dieback, known as chalara fraxinea, is present in one other small plantation nearby but does not appear to have spread any further, which the trust said was at odds with government predictions suggesting it should have spread further and infected more trees in this time.
The findings suggest tackling the disease in the UK is not a lost cause and control measures could slow the spread from south-east England, where the disease appears to have been wind-blown from mainland Europe.
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