Ash dieback disease has been rapidly spreading across the country since first appearing in October 2012, and sightings have been confirmed from Edinburgh to Penzance. The race is now on to help scientists understand how the disease spreads and to identify potentially resistant trees. At the request of the Arboriculture Team at Richmond Council, we are working with Friends’ groups across the Borough to put ash tags on specific Ash trees in parks. Ash tags are small metal plates with a unique number.

Trees for tagging have been picked by South West London Environmental Network (SWLEN) and groups given this information and a tag/s to put on the trees. These trees are different varieties of ash other than the Common or European Ash, which are known to be very susceptible in the hope of finding resistant species. The ash population in the UK is circa 95% European ash. Friends’ groups are then being asked to register the tags with Ash Tag and then monitor these trees for signs of dieback, the public can also participate in this monitoring. This can be done through taking and submitting photos or comments on tree health quoting the ash tag number via an app for smart phones or via the Ash Tag website

Thanks to one of our members, Tricia Singer who is monitoring one of the Ash trees in the park.