GardenDrumBiochar in the fight against chalara ash dieback

chalara ash dieback Image courtesy of FeraA new biochar product is the Great New Hope in UK’s fight against chalara dieback of ash which is devastating ash trees throughout the country. 

Developed by Bartlett Tree Research Laboratory in conjunction with biochar manufacturers Carbon Gold, the improved biochar product sold as ‘Tree Soil Improver’ contains a purified form of charcoal plus worm castings, seaweed extracts and fungi.

Chalara dieback on ash tree Photo Jonas Barandun

Chalara dieback on ash tree Photo Jonas Barandun

The research team which included the University of Reading applied the improved biochar product to the root zone of 20 trees among a 2000-tree ash plantation in Essex managed by the Woodland Trust. Over the following 3 years, about one third of the trees in the plantation became infected with the chalara fungus but none of the treated trees.

Although this is early days in the research, the results show a promising avenue for further investigation.

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