• Maintenance of an ecologically and economically important admixed tree species

  • Providing a clone collection with improved resistance
  • Preserving common ash as natural habitat and life resources for associated species


The conservation of common ash is a primary objective for the Austrian forestry, timber industry and nature conservation. Conventional forest protection measures of direct control are not sufficient and applicable in this case. It is advisable to stimulate and to accelerate the natural adaptation process of species against the pathogen by silvicultural measures.

Within Central Europe, Austria is the first country that focuses on such a mass selection, to preserve the in existence jeopardised common ash by the production of resistant reproductive material.

A collection of a large number of locally adapted and resistant clones from all over Austria is crucial, as initially resistant clones might be vulnerable with an increasing exposure to the pathogen. On the other hand the maintenance of a high natural genetic diversity in the species is an important goal.

praxis 1

In the end of the project a clone collection should be available for forest managers as a direct output and as a material basis for an appropriate seed orchard. This material represents a high economic and ecological value.
In order to bridge the time period between seed orchard establishment and the first significant seed production (10-15 years), a clone mixture is assembled made up of both selected female and male ash trees, as well as the resistant offspring samples propagated by grafting and cuttings. This clone mixture should provide a significantly improved resistance to ash dieback pathogen and should make afforestation and renaturation projects with common ash again more attractive.

Fotos: Weißenbacher