After a series of initial press releases, information for landowners on how to deal with Ash dieback has been difficult to find and lacking in any clear advice on how to manage the problem. The initial hope was that because of climatic and genetic reasons Ash in the UK would prove more resistant than across the rest of Europe.
It is now clear that this is not the case and that based on research in Denmark and Poland we can expect the rapid decline and death of at least 90% of our forest Ash and 60-80% of the same species on our roadsides. The impact of this is that ten times more trees will be lost than as a result of Dutch Elm Disease; the disease is evident from north central Scotland to the south coast of England.
What a difference a year makes. At the beginning of 2013 demand was moderate and wintry weather which lasted well into April restricted despatch from the forest as well as building activity. This year has been the wettest in over 200 years as many know to their cost, but across the high producing areas of Scotland lost days access due to snow and ice can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Combine this with what can only be described as unprecedented demand across all sectors, and it is fair to say that our industry is buzzing!