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Deadly tree fungus will not affect the traditional Morgan
THE use of traditional car manufacturing methods looks set to continue at the historic Morgan Motor Company despite a deadly disease threatening its supply of ash.
Wood from the trees – which have been put at risk by a dieback disease caused by a fungus that has already devastated the species in Europe – continues to be used in Morgan’s Pickersleigh Road factory in Malvern as it has done for more than 100 years.
The threat of the disease, as identified by the Woodland Trust on its estate at Pound Farm, Suffolk, has raised question marks over the future ash supply with some 100,000 ash trees having already been felled in an effort to prevent its spread.
However, the company’s sales manager Mark Ledington has played down any fears surrounding the future of their traditional production methods.
He said: “The coach-built construction of a Morgan car continues to use ash as the energy-absorbing layer between the aluminium bodywork and the steel or aluminium chassis. He said: “Our supplier of ash has sufficient supplies for the next two years, and we are discussing future supply strategy at the moment.”
On Monday, the Government moved to ban the import of ash plants, trees and seeds, while movement restrictions will stop trees from infected areas being moved elsewhere in the country amid fears it could wreak the same kind of damage as Dutch elm disease in the 1970s.
The disease is caused by the chalara fraxinea fungus, which results in leaf loss and crown dieback and can lead to tree death.
It has wiped out 90 per cent of ash trees in Denmark in seven years and is becoming widespread throughout central Europe.
In the UK, ash trees make up about 30 per cent of the wooded landscape across woodlands, hedgerows and parks.