The Vikings believed that the World Tree, Yggdrasil, was an ash, with its roots in the Underworld. This is a humbler specimen, Fraxinus excelsior, one of many under threat from ash dieback (Chalara fraxinea). A sugary substance similar to honey which oozes from from ash trees was once harvested commercially and the wood was used for arrow shafts, spears and bows. Now that autumn has come the distinctive pinnate leaves have begun to fall, which will make it a little harder to identify. Unfortunately most people don’t have enough knowledge to recognise common trees like the ash, let alone spot the disease, so if it continues to spread tracking the outbreak of Chalara could be difficult.
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