"British Forests Face Threat From Ash Blight"

"Britain is facing its worst ecological disaster in at least a generation, as a devastating fungus that has already wiped out most of continental Europe's ash trees, appears to have taken root in rural England, conservationists say."

"Over 100,000 trees have already been burned to try to stop the spread of Chalara fraxinea, more commonly known as ash dieback, and imports of foreign ash trees have been banned.

'This is going to be even more devastating than Dutch Elm Disease was,' said Norman Starks, Director of Operations at the Woodland Trust, referring to the beetle-borne blight which practically wiped out British elm trees in the 1960s and 70s.

Ash trees are the third most prevalent tree in Britain, but their contribution to the woodland canopy is such that their loss could mean the end of many animal and plant habitats."

Peter Schwartzstein reports for Reuters November 1, 2012.

Source: Reuters, 11/01/2012