the fungal infection which experts say could devastate the UK’s ash tree population within a decade has been discovered in Kinghorn.
At an emergency summit in Holyrood, ministers said that Chalara ash dieback had been found in mature ash trees in Kinghorn, but the exact site was not identified.
However the Forestry Commission has said that it has not yet confirmed that the Kinghorn trees ARE infected.
Staff at the Ecology Centre in Kinghorn said they had carried out an initial survey to plot all the ash trees around its premises so they could keep an eye on them.
And they urged others who have ash trees in their vicinity to look out for possible symptoms and to report them to the Forestry Comission if the suspect they may be affected.
Alison Greggans, operations co-ordinator at the Ecology Centre said: “We did check out the ash trees around us and we do have some that we are a bit concerned about, but we are not qualified to say whether they are infected or not, so we took photographs of them and have sent them off to the Forestry Commission for further advice.
“At this time of year when the leaves are dying off on the trees it is extremely difficult to tell whether it is through infection, and it was purely coincidence that we expressed our concern at the same time as Kinghorn was identified as having infected ash trees.
“All we can do at this stage is keep a watchful eye and follow all the precautions that the Commission has said to, and we would urge everyone to do the same.”
Representatives from nature organisations met with Scottish Government representatives at Holyrood on Tuesday in an emergency summit to discuss what can be done.
The government hopes to have a control strategy in place by the end of November, but Rory Syme, PR officer for the Woodlands Trust, said this was unlikely to include chopping down mature trees, which could have immunity to the infection.
The Forestry Commission advises people visiting woodlands in the area:
• Not to remove any plant material (firewood, sticks, leaves or cuttings) from woodland.
• Clear soil, mud, leaves etc. from footwear, clothing, dogs, horses and any vehicle wheels before leaving.
• Wash footwear, wheel and tyres with soapy water before visiting any other countryside sites including garden centres, parks and nurseries.
• Follow any instructions on signs in the area.