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Britain’s population struggles to identify ash trees, or even oaks



July 24, 2013
Oak & ash. Photo Jonathan Billinger

Oak & ash. Photo Jonathan Billinger

Britain’s ash trees are under threat from ash dieback and the public have been asked to look out for signs of the disease. But the Woodland Trust has found that as only 17% can recognise an ash leaf, they mightn’t be much help.

At least 15 significant tree diseases threaten Britain’s trees, including chalara ash dieback and acute oak decline. Without the assistance of the public in recognising and notifying evidence of affected trees, experts will have little help in mapping the disease’s spread, and putting quarantine measures in place.

Young English oak in Sherwood Forest. Photo Kate Jewell

Young English oak in Sherwood Forest. Photo Kate Jewell

The research by the Woodland Trust found that 57% of Britons could not even recognise an oak leaf, one of Britain’s most iconic trees. Austin Brady from the Woodland Trust says: “We are calling for increased education on native trees and disease identification before it’s too late. We need to learn about and love trees and woods or we risk losing them.”

You can learn more about Britain’s trees at http://www.loveitorloseit.org.uk/ and watch this video to learn how to tell the difference from an ash and an oak, using bark, leaves and growth habit.

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Stuart Read
8 years ago

that’s salutary/woeful. Perhaps Britons are as busy gazing at mobile phone ‘faces’ as Australians are. Love it or lose it indeed (mobile reception!)?