Does Privet Spread Ash Dieback

There are now warning signs that the humble garden hedge may spread Chalara fraxinea - ash dieback. Dr Stephen Woodward from Aberdeen University stated that privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium) could be a carrier of Chalara fraxinea, the deadly disease killing our native ash trees.

Dr Woodward has encouraged homeowners to look out for indications of the fungal disease such as black spots on leaves and then to bury or burn dead leaves to stop the disease spreading. Do not place them on your compost heap.

He explained, “Ash is a member of the olive family of trees and we need to find out if other species in the family are susceptible to the disease. They may be carrying the fungus without being harmed, but when their leaves fall off they produce spores which could be affecting and spreading to ash trees.”

He continued “I don’t want people to fear that their garden plants are going to die but we must find out if these plants are harbouring the fungus.”

‘It may not cause disease in these plants, but they could be a vector for further infections in ash trees and help spread the disease. We need people to watch out for the unusual."

With privet often dropping a lot of leaves at this time of the year please be careful to get rid of the leaves responsibly.

See here for more.


  1. Do you think we will see a typical over reaction with people removing hedges "jusdt in case"?

    1. We shall have to wait and see, hopefully people will just take precautions.

  2. I would suggest caution, including burning leaves this year. but most people won't care or bother so will anything a few gardeners do actually make any difference?


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