Eurpoean ash, which faces serious threats from fungal infections and emerald ash borers. Credit: Alois Staudacher
European ash trees cannot seem to catch a break. Currently, an ash dieback fungus caused by Chalara faxinea
has been plaguing Europe, requiring research funds and the efforts and attention of scientists. Now, another threat to these trees looms on the horizon. As readers of American Forests
magazine know from the Winter 2013 issue
, the emerald ash borer has been monumentally destructive to ash trees in North America. The beetle, native to Asia and eastern Russia, killed almost all of the North American ash trees that it has infested since it entered the country in 2002, but scientists recently discovered that the voracious insect is not finished yet. Emerald ash borers were recently found in Moscow, and scientists believe that they are spreading to Europe.
The current focus of ash tree research in Europe is on finding ash trees that are tolerant or resistant to the fungus outbreak, but Dr. Steve Woodward, a tree pathologist from the University of Aberdeen, says that this approach may not be wholly effective, stating that “the problem with then jumping on