North East UK news Warning as millions of trees are dying due to disease 'nobody is talking about' PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - A councillor has warned that Northumberland's landscape will change 'dramatically' by the Ash Dieback disease
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! A huge proportion of Northumberland's trees have been infected with a devastating disease that will "dramatically" change the county's landscape. Coun Richard Dodd has warned that up to 90% of the county's ash trees - which make up a significant proportion of all of the hardwood trees in Northumberland - could be killed off by Ash Dieback disease. The Woodland Trust say the fungal infection originated in Asia, but has devastated European ash populations since its introduction 30 years ago. Read more: Soldier's death on live-firing exercise in Northumberland has been ruled accidental The fungus overwinters in leaf litter on the ground, particularly on ash leaf stalks. It produces small white fruiting bodies between July and October which release spores into the surrounding atmosphere. These spores can blow tens of miles away. They land on leaves, stick to and then penetrate into the leaf and beyond. The fungus then grows inside the tree, eventually blocking its water transport systems, causing it to die. The trust say native ash species have no natural defences against the fungus. Coun Dodd, who is a farmer and represents the Ponteland North ward on Northumberland County Council, is calling for urgent action and says Northumberland is facing huge problems down the road. He said: "We're going to lose about 30, 40% of the trees we see. It won't affect the pine forests but around 40% of our hardwood trees are ash trees, and probably more in certain areas. "Our landscape is going to change dramatically. Some of the trees are already dead, and most people don't know about it. Only 5% of the ash trees will survive. Councillor Richard Dodd (Image: Copyright Unknown) "In a couple of years time, we will have a big, big problem. Ash trees are everywhere. I want people to come up with a solution." The Woodland Trust has said it is aiming to retain as many "potentially tolerant" ash trees a s possible, but is also allowing nature to "take its course" and allow diseased ash trees to decline. However, a year after widespread power cuts caused by Storm Arwen, Coun Dodd is concerned that, in the event of another storm, Ash Dieback could cause even greater chaos. The issue is worsened by the fact that tree felling machines are built for pine trees, which are straight. Ash trees are, as Coun Dodd puts it, "higgledy-piggledy", meaning they have to be cut down by hand.
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. If we get a big wind, they will all get down. "There are power lines, there's phone lines, never mind the roads - they will be blocked on a massive scale. We have got some time, but not a lot of time. "They are big trees and there are a lot of them. They're all going to come down, or be taken down. In Northumberland, you will be talking two or three million trees. "Even if we pulled the army in, we would still never get them all down. To take a big tree down by hand is a big job." The Woodland Trust has a list of symptoms of Ash Dieback on its website. They are: Leaves develop dark patches in the summer. They then wilt and discolour to black. Leaves might shed early. Dieback of the shoots and leaves is visible in the summer. Lesions develop where branches meet the trunk. These are often diamond-shaped and dark brown. Inner bark looks brownish-grey under the lesions. New growth from previously dormant buds further down the trunk. This is known as epicormic growth and is a common response to stress in trees. It advises the public to clean footwear before and after visiting woods in order to stop the spread, as well as car and bike wheels. Visitors to the countryside should also avoid taking cuttings or plant material. Read next: Northumberland woman caused £15,000 damage to police car by reversing into it Northumberland and Newcastle home to one of the best car-free breaks in the UK Northumberland brewery wins international award and has beer showcased in Houses of Parliament Northumberland cottage named one of the cosiest in the UK for a winter break Northumberland pensioner David Hunter no longer faces Cyprus murder trial over terminal wife's death
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