Virus threatens ash trees

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A virus that threatens ash trees has been discovered in more than 50 locations across the country including Tipperary.

The first case of the disease, which is known as chalara was discovered in October in Leitrim.

It can affect ash trees of any age and can prove fatal.

It has been found in 36 plantations, 15 nurseries, 10 farms, eight roadside plantings, three garden centres and two private gardens,

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney is urging forest owners to attend meeting which are being held by Teagasc and the Department of Agriculture over the coming weeks. These meetings will outline the signs of the disease and how to address it.

Ash Dieback, as it is also known has wiped out 90% of Danish ash stocks and conservation groups are warning that it is a serious threat to irish forests.