Ash Dieback conference

Anyone wanting serious information on Ash Dieback should look at the webcasts of a recent conference “Living with Ash Dieback in Continental Europe”.

This was held at the Linnaean Society in London on 29 November 2013. In all, there are more than 6 hours of footage, with 23 papers.

They consider country by country the disease’s spread across Europe; the commercial implications; ways of combating it by plant hygiene or plant breeding. For naturalists, particularly concerned by the potential damage of the disease in the wider environment, the two opening talks of Session 3 ( – Ash Dieback as a conservation biology challenge, and The impact of Ash Dieback on veteran and pollarded trees in Southwestern Sweden – are very valuable.

For modelling the Epidemiology of Ash Dieback in the UK, see the paper by Professor Chris Gilligan starting at 38 minutes into the webcast of Session 4. ( This is a brief paper, lasting only 10 minutes. Towards the end, he shows slides which indicate that before the end of the decade Ash Dieback will be across England and Wales.

In case one gets too depressed by the preceding papers, the final presentation by Professor Steve Woodward is on the Emerald Ash Borer beetle which is heading our way. He says that if Ash Dieback doesn’t get our Ash Trees, then the Emerald Ash Borer will.

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