How Are Tree Diseases Impacting UK Woodlands

NathalieM By NathalieM, 2nd Sep 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>News>Environment

In the UK we currently do not have the same issue of deforestation that Asia, Africa and South America have however our tree have become endangered by something that we as humans are almost powerless to do anything about...

The Catalyst

When you think of deforestation you would be right to assume that humans are the main catalyst. The industrialisation of countries particularly in Asia, Africa and South America has resulted in 40% of the all rainforests lost happening in the past 40 years. At this rate experts have estimated that at the current rate that all rainforests could be cut down by 2050 which would have a significant impact on climate change.

In the UK we currently do not have the same issue of deforestation that Asia, Africa and South America have however our tree have become endangered by something that we as humans are almost powerless to do anything about and that is the disease Chalara Fraxina. This disease is one that grows on the leaves of ash trees (that currently represent 5% of all of the UK’s woodland) and has been causing havoc for trees in Europe for the last 20 years.

How Can We Combat The Disease?

With no known cure for the disease it has been very hard for humans to contain the disease and stop it spreading to different areas of the country however there are some things that we can do in order to stop it to continually spread across the country.

Burn Baby Burn

With the statistics on deforestation already spelling bad news for the future of woodlands and rainforests throughout the world it is a shame that one of the only way in which human can combat the growth of tree related diseases such as Chalara Fraxina and Ash Dieback is by burning the trees down. This tactic was recently used in Devon where 1,500 trees had to be dug up and burned in order to stop the trees spreading to other woodland areas. The impact that this has is it means that part of Devon’s rural scenery has been changed into an ash field but this is a small price to pay taking into account the long term impact the disease could have in the area.


A further way in which we can combat the disease is by reforestation it has been stated that the UK Government has plan to plant 2,500 trees to replace trees that have been affected by diseases. This is a great way to ensure that woodlands can recover slowly from diseases such as Ash Dieback, although this will take longer to have a major affect as it will take time for the saplings to grow into fully grown trees it gives Britain’s woodlands a sustainable future.

Tree Surgeons

Another area of Britain where trees are currently under threat is Sussex, home to the National Elm collection, which contains the world’s oldest English Elms the Preston Park twins. The Woodland Trust has currently revealed that 3000 ancient trees could potentially die out due to diseases and pests. As Sussex is home to some of the most ancient woodland in the UK it is imperative action is taken to ensure that any trees that could be infected with a disease are identified and then treated.
Tree surgeons are one way in which we can limit the amount of trees being affected by potentially lethal diseases. Tree surgeons specialise in curing and controlling diseases in the stems and branches by spraying or injecting the tree with the relevant medicines and in some cases can remove sections of the tree if necessary.
As tree diseases have been increasing at an extremely fast rate it would be good to call a local tree surgeon immediately if you see a tree which looks like it is poor health whether that is a tree surgeon in Horsham or Hounslow.

Importation Ban

A further tactic that the UK government are employing in order to limit the amount of trees being affected by diseases is by placing bans on certain types of trees such as Ash and Sweet Chestnut being imported into the UK. The reason behind this is trees from different continents such as Asia and mainland Europe are already suffering from deadly diseases and if these diseases begin to affect trees in the UK then it could have severe repercussions.


At the present time the status of the woodlands in the UK is relatively strong however if tree diseases continue to infect large areas of woodland then the battle to keep Britain’s woodlands healthy will become harder by the day. This is why we have to identify areas of woodland that are beginning to show symptoms that the trees could have disease and isolate them before any disease has the opportunity to spread.

Thanks For Reading

Thanks for reading. Make sure you check out the rest of my work on WikiNut
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter for more - @MartinNathalie9

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Destruction, Environment, Tree Surgeon, Trees, Woodlands

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author avatar NathalieM
Hello! I'm Nathalie and I love writing about what makes my world tick! Fashion, weddings, interior design, health, property..You name it, I will write about it!

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
6th Sep 2013 (#)

Thanks for the share, Nathalie. Our ecologically unfriendly lifestyles are starting to leave its mark on the environment. Certain trees are suited to tropical climate so importation limits are wise - siva

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author avatar NathalieM
10th Sep 2013 (#)

Hi Siva, thank you for your kind comments.

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