The Irish department of agriculture, food and the marine has confirmed that ash trees from internal hedgerows within the first confirmed positive plantation in Ireland have tested positive for chalara fraxinea - and that a hedgerow tree that is external to the plantation, in County Leitrim, has also tested positive.
Minister Tom Hayes said: "I am fully aware of the significance of this finding and have asked my officials to put a comprehensive eradication plan into place immediately. This will start on October 7 with the assistance of Coillte.
He added: "There has been a massive effort to survey for this disease and remove the disease anywhere it has presented itself. We will continue this policy of eradication and will keep the policy under constant review as results come in from the surveys. My officials have discussed the latest finding with their counterparts in Northern Ireland as we have a joint all-Ireland strategy for chalara."
The Leitrim site was planted with imported ash plants in 2009 and these imported plants were confirmed positive for Chalara fraxinea in October 2012. This was the first site in Ireland where Chalara fraxinea was detected. To date, it remains by far the largest known outbreak of the disease in Ireland.
Ireland findings Chalara fraxinea, 4 October 2013
- Forestry Plantations 39
- Horticultural Nurseries 16
- Garden Centres 4
- Private Garden 2
- Farm landscaping/Agri-envir schemes 15
- Roadside landscaping 20
- Hedgerow 1