Managing Ash Dieback Disease

Managing Ash Dieback Disease


LOBS Charity and Coventry University


Sacred Earth CBC


Dr Francis Rayns, Dr Katharina Dehnen-Schmutz, Dr Liz Trenchard and Ffion Thomas


October 2019 to March 2023

Which CAWR theme/s does this project link to?

Resilient Food and Water Systems in Practice

Sustainable Development Goals

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Project Objectives

Ash trees (Fraxinus excelsior) make up around 12% of the UK’s overall tree population, and provide a habitat for many hundreds of species, 45 of which rely solely on the ash tree for their survival. Ash trees are under threat from an invasive fungal disease, Hymenoscyphus fraxineus which is decimating ash tree populations across Europe.

This project aims to identify whether factors associated with soil health influence ash tree susceptibility to ash dieback disease, and whether using sustainable soil amendments, such as biochar, to improve soil health alters ash tree tolerance and resistance to the disease.


Trees are critically important for a range of ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration, water retention in the landscape and as a habitat for many different species. Ash trees are also an important timber tree, and an iconic tree of the landscape.

Identifying means of reducing ash tree losses to ash dieback disease should help retain extant mature trees that support significant biodiversity, and act as a carbon sink, and avoid the loss of the many plant, fungi and insect species which rely on the tree.

Latest News

University research to help save Britain’s ash trees

For more information, contact Francis Rayns.

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University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2023