Tree disease is in Guernsey

DEADLY tree disease ash dieback has been found in Guernsey, it has been revealed.

DEADLY tree disease ash dieback has been found in Guernsey, it has been revealed.

Commerce and Employment’s plant health team yesterday confirmed the removal and destruction of 86 ash trees in the south-east of the island found to have the disease, which is sweeping through Europe.

The department, which would not reveal the exact location of the trees, is expected to today respond to questions over whether it reacted too slowly to the outbreak of the fungus Chalara fraxinea after waiting until the end of last month before announcing an importation ban.

Before then a voluntary agreement not to import had been in place with nurseries, but the department yesterday would not say whether the recently imported 86 diseased trees were brought to Guernsey when restrictions were in place.

Plant health inspector Nigel Clark said: ‘This finding underlines the importance of inspecting all recently imported ash trees. Finding infection early, before it becomes established, is essential if the island’s ash trees are to be protected.’