Do you remember the ash trees of yesteryear?

A few generations ago a feature of England was its great elm trees; they provided wood for people’s furniture, even for coffins, shelter for animals and beauty in the countryside, but Dutch Elm disease turned groves of elm into very rare things. memories reside in ash; you look up to the tree that looks down on you. Today in Britain we face losing or decimating another one of our traditional species of tree – the Ash tree.

The beautifully named fungus Chalara Fraxinea is attacking ash trees having made a journey from continental Europe and found our ash very much to its taste. Large amounts of ash have been killed by disease in Denmark and in central Europe. It is thought that the fungus is mainly spread by the importation of foreign ash trees into Britain, so the Woodland Trust has called for an immediate ban on importing ash. At the moment the government is carefully considering that a ban might be implemented, or dithering, depending on your point of view.

The disease caused by the fungus is known as ash die back which is an ugly name for an ugly thing; it causes the leaves to get brown and the crown of the tree to wither. So far it has appeared in many parts of Britain, but only in trees planted in colleges, car parks and so forth for ornamental purposes. Fortunately it has not yet appeared in our woodlands.

There is an old folk song about ash trees, called the Ash Grove. Unusually for an English folk song it originated in Wales and in Welsh. It is a beautiful sad song of memories and I make no apology for repeating one version of its worlds here.

The ash grove, how graceful, how plainly ’tis speaking,

The harp through it playing has language for me;

Whenever the light through its branches is breaking,

A host of kind faces is gazing on me.

The friends of my childhood again are before me,

Each step wakes a memory, as freely I roam;

With soft whispers laden, its leaves rustle over me;

The ash grove, the ashgrove alone is my home.


My lips smile no more, my heart loses its lightness,

No dream of the future my spirit can cheer;

I only can brood on the past and its brightness,

The dead I have mourned are again living here.

From every dark nook they press forward to meet me;

I lift up my eyes to the broad leafy dome,

And others are there, looking downward to greet me;

The ash grove, the ash grove alone is my home.

One Response

  1. Happenings and Distractions by Design.

    Here is an example of earth time and energy being taken from anothers energy, little bits of nature being spread by mankind to make trade for profit, when there is plenty here for all to use, the surplanted in the form of a living fungus, and one that has A-climatised to live in a suitable region for millenia, now making its home in another suitable habitat by chance? like a plague it travells far and cares not what nationality it resides within given the chance.

    A similar spread of a past unwanted happened here in the Uk, In the form and name of “Varroa Destructor” aptly named, where it over ran Europe, then as things tend to do it visited the Uk and began its rampage here.

    However a treatment was available on the continent to help stifle the beasts progress, here in England the government of the day, Thatcher, dillied and dallied for a further three years before allowing the treatment into Britain, in which time the entity had an uncontrolled freedom and by the time a decission was made the damage was already done. This also decimated both the wild and captive bee population, wiping out many thousands of colonies and bussinesses and jobs in the industry, and bees are now being regulary treated with all sorts of chemicals, right inside their homes and we are eating the produce in tiny amounts nontheless. Anything in the stores is supposed to be discarded, however money talks differently, viruses and unatural chemicals don’t.

    Then we move on to what is a distraction to what is currently being cut down in and before their prime, and we are bothered about a single species which is of lesser importance, moved bt mans greed and wanton control.

    One day we might just notice this for what it is, and once again remember who and what we really are.

    There is Earth time and man time, one will sucumb and one will prevail if we carry on thinking god like, like we are, there is only one mother and one father within us all, they are not yet recognised for who they teally are as a whole.

    Both clocks are ticking, there is still time, back to life, back to reality, back to the here and now and then.

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