Ash dieback in Ireland

A review of European management options and case studies in remedial silviculture

  • Ian Short Teagasc Forestry Development Dept., Ashtown Research Centre, Dublin 15.
  • Jerry Hawe Forestry Consultancy and Research, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Keywords: Fraxinus excelsior, Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, underplanting, management guidelines, stand restructuring, mitigation


Ash dieback, caused by Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, is developing rapidly across the island of Ireland. Ireland’s ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) woodlands, particularly first rotation plantations, are quite unique and are at particular risk of very rapid decline. Urgent action is required in order to minimise the economic, ecological and social impact of the disease. However, for this to happen forest owners require guidance regarding potential positive management interventions.This article outlines the wider, mainly European, experience of remedial silviculture. It presents three case studies on existing remedial silviculture trials in Ireland. In the absence of silvicultural research data specific to the evolving situation with ash dieback, this article explores the potential benefits of positive practical actions which may minimise the impact of the disease. Despite the seriousness of the situation, such silvicultural activity may even result in a positive economic outcome. It is hoped that by beginning to document potential mitigatory management options, this paper may bring some reassurance to owners and managers of ashdominated woodlands.
How to Cite
Short, I. and Hawe, J. (2018) “Ash dieback in Ireland”, Irish Forestry, 75(1&2), pp. 44-72. Available at: (Accessed: 26February2024).