Chalara fraxinea, or Ash Dieback Disease, has been found in a hedgerow in Tipperary.
This is only the second time the disease has been discovered in a native plant since the disease was discovered in imported plants last year.
The exact location of the affected trees has not been revealed by the Department of Agriculture but it is known to be in the Thurles area and close to imported trees planted there eight years ago. The trees are being removed.
Minister Tom Hayes, who has a responsibility for forestry, said: “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 from the ongoing surveys.” Following confirmation of the first hedgerow infection in October, in County Leitrim, the Department has confirmed the second infected ash hedgerow site near Thurles. This hedgerow is within 50 metres of a farm landscaping shelterbelt of ash planted eight years ago with imported plants that have also tested positive for the disease.
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. Since the discovery of Ash Dieback in Ireland in October 2012 (on plants imported from continental Europe), an ongoing major survey of ash has been carried out by the Department. This included ash surveys of plantations, nurseries, roadsides, landscape and farm landscape plantings and hedgerows. There have been 101 confirmed findings of the disease. A survey of Ireland’s hedgerows, as well as hedgerows surrounding infected plantations, was carried out.