Chalara has been found in both planted young ash trees and in wider environment ash trees at sites near Rainham, Havering and Orpington, Bromley. These sites are all on the outskirts of London and adjacent to known chalara sites outside London, so the news does not come as a surprise and is in line with expected spread of chalara. The FCChalara website has a map showing the known distribution of Chalara including these latest findings; please note the map is based on positive results in 10km squares rather than specific sites.
Key messages are:
- Chalara has been known to be present for the last 2 years in the SE England area; it is spread by the wind; symptoms are more easily identifiable in the summer
- The FC has been actively surveying for it, so this development was expected; the disease is progressing much as expected; the FC will continue surveys to monitor the disease and offer management guidance to landowners
- Whilst there may be localised impact of Chalara, we do not expect it to have a major impact on the treescape of London
- Landowners should not panic about the latest findings or if they find chalara on their property; affected trees should be managed in line with normal tree management programmes i.e. monitoring and implementing treework only if appropriate.
- The best hope for the long term is in finding strains which are resistant to the fungus that can provide the future ash population; Forest Research are involved in this work
- Please refer to the FC website for information. There is also guidance on what to do in woodland and non-woodland situations; London specific guidance is being developed and will be published in due course