Moloney calls for action on ash dieback

A local councillor has called for an awareness campaign to promote health checks on trees with suspected ash dieback in Tipperary.

Councillor Andy Moloney has put forward the proposal to the environmental section of the local authority, as the recent bad weather has exposed significant amounts of ash dieback in the county’s trees.

The disease, which first appeared in Ireland in 2012, can be fatal in ash trees, particularly younger trees.

Councillor Moloney says it poses a risk not only to ash trees but also to motorists.

“With recent winds and rains, I’ve noticed that there’s an awful lot of ash limbs on the grounds and the sides of roads. The last thing we want is for some of those trees that are affected by the dieback falling down and ending up in a fatality on our roadsides. It’s in everyone’s interest, in the council’s interest, and in the landowner’s interest to do a health check on any ash trees that they have on their property, especially on roadsides and ditches. They need to see what the state of the ash is because if they do start crumbling or falling, like I can see the limbs falling at the moment, it’s going to end up in a fatality.”

The Independent councillor explains what visual symptoms people can look out for.

“There won’t be any seeds, leaves, or foliage on them; the trunk of them is blacker or browner looking, and you’ll see twigs and that on the ground as well. They’ll be gone bare. That’s the start of the ash dieback. I’m also led to believe, from what experts are telling me, that if you leave the ash dieback set into the trees too much, they’re actually no good to burn; there’s only smoulder, and ash is a great source of firewood.”