Conserving oak- and ash-associated species in the face of pests and diseases

Oak woodland

Ruth Mitchel from the James Hutton Institute and a member of the Plant Health Centre has written two articles on conserving oak- and ash-associated species in the face of oak and ash pests and diseases. 

Oak trees have long had a reputation for supporting a lot of other species but until recently we had no idea just how many and what those species were. Recent work has listed 2300 species associated with oak, of which 320 are only found on oak and a further 229 species are rarely found on species other than oak.

Ash dieback is caused by a non-native fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, which arrived into eastern Europe in the 1990’s on imported trees. Since then the fungus has spread eastward killing large numbers of ash trees (Fraxinus excelsior). The fungus was first confirmed in the UK in 2012, although it is now known to have been present in the UK for a lot longer. As of Feburary 2018 was found in 49% of 10 km squares in the UK.

To read more about oak visit here

To read more about ash visit here.