Everyone knows what an oak or a beech or a horse chestnut looks like, but if you ask someone to identify an ash, I would bet that nine out of ten would fail. However the ash has one quality above all of our native trees, which is that it makes excellent firewood, even, in fact especially, when green. Everyone should be encouraged to have a log fire – it’s one of the greatest pleasures in life.
So we should look upon the virus which is assaulting our ash trees as an opportunity, not a threat. It will rid our woods of some of their least attractive trees. And it will provide a plentiful supply of logs to keep us going through all those harsh winters which global warming seems, paradoxically, to be throwing at us.