Following confirmation of a finding of Ash Dieback (Chalara fraxinea) in Ireland in October last year, an ongoing major survey of ash was carried out.
So far, there have been a total of 101 confirmed findings of the disease in Ireland, including one ash hedgerow in Tipperary. As part of the surveillance effort a systematic survey of Ireland’s hedgerows as well as a targeted survey of hedgerows surrounding infected plantations was carried out. Following confirmation of the first hedgerow infection earlier this month the Department has now confirmed a second infected ash hedgerow site in County Tipperary. “This hedgerow is within 50ms of a farm landscaping shelterbelt of ash planted eight years ago with imported plants that have also tested positive for the disease. This is now the second confirmed site of Chalara in a native hedgerow in Ireland,” stated Deputy Hayes. “The Department is carrying out a survey of the hedgerow system in the vicinity of this finding before determining the extent of hedgerow to be removed in order to eradicate the disease at this site. In the meantime the farm landscaping shelterbelt is being removed. Given this finding of a second outbreak in native ash trees within a hedgerow, it is obvious that there is a major challenge in eradicating this disease. We will continue with the policy of eradication and review this policy as further results come in.”