FOREST Service Chief Executive Malcolm Beatty today (20 November) updated the Assembly’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee (ARD) on the disease of ash trees which has been found in the north of Ireland.
Ash saplings imported through Scotland from the continent have been found to contain the disease Chalara, also known as Ash dieback. Forest Chief Malcolm Beatty told members of the ARD committee, the imported consignment of 22,000 saplings had been delivered to 36 sites across the north.
He said: “All of these sites are currently being visited and inspected and, where necessary, containment and destruction orders served. More than 3,500 infected saplings on three sites in Counties Down and Antrim have already been destroyed by burning and deep burial.
“When the disease was first confirmed we acted swiftly and vigorously to eradicate. As sites are confirmed, through laboratory testing, destruction notices are served for the infected saplings and associated debris to be burned or deep buried.
“The risk of spread at this time year is low and our surveillance will continue, taking in recently planted sites of ash in public and private woodland, roadside plantings, established trees, hedgerows and nurseries.”
Further information on the disease and reporting finding is available on the Department’s website at the following link: