Friday 2 November 2012


With the gloriously named national emergency committee, Cobra, holding a meeting on the threat of ash dieback disease to our native trees, it's clear that it's being taken very seriously. I hope this will prove to be another case of needless panic and of underestimating the ability of trees to look after themselves and bounce back from whatever disasters come their way. However, we are told that 90 per cent of Denmark's ashes are dead, and that is worrying.
 The question I've been asking ever since this story broke is why on earth anyone would bother importing a self-sewing weed tree that is hugely abundant and will come sprouting up virtually anywhere. The explanation is here: unbelievably it is cheaper either to import trees, or to export seedlings to be grown on abroad then reimport them - in both cases labelling them 'native' or 'British' - than it is to grow ash trees here. How can this be? Truly it's a mad world.


  1. And isn't it great to see how deftly the Forestry Commission - beneficiary of last year's ignorant and sentimental campaign to 'save our woodlands' - has responded to this crisis?

  2. Whenever I hear that a meeting of Cobra has been held, I get a grim feeling that a national cock-up is on its way.