Research into ways to combat ash dieback disease will feature prominently at a forestry open day being hosted by Teagasc in Oakpark, Co Carlow this Wednesday.
Teagasc has focused on developing ash trees that have a genetic resistance to the disease, as well as designing management options for existing ash woodlands.
The event will take place from 11.30am to 1pm on Wednesday 16 October.
Ash dieback is a fungal disease of ash trees. It was first detected in Ireland seven years ago on imported ash plants.
Since then, it has spread throughout most of Ireland, affecting ash trees of any age and in any setting.
Dr Miguel Nemesio-Gorriz leads the ash tree genetic research in Teagasc.
He explained: “I am currently focusing on the identification and propagation of ash genotypes that are tolerant to ash dieback disease.
“The research objectives of my work are to identify tolerant ash genotypes in Irish forests, to study the molecular mechanisms conferring tolerance to individual ash genotypes and to develop efficient propagation methods for tolerant ash material.”
Dr Ian Short, a broadleaf forestry researcher with Teagasc, will present research focusing on promoting the vigour of ash through thinning.
He said: “Thinning operations aim to promote the growth of selected individuals by releasing them from competition.
"The longer the health of these trees can be maintained, the longer we can maintain the ecological integrity and functions of the woodland.
“Ultimately, the long-term resilience of these woodlands lies in achieving a greater degree of species diversity.”
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