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I heard on the news yesterday that ash dieback disease has now been found in Yorkshire. Oh no! Ash dieback has killed off up to 90% of ash trees in some countries.

 From my desk, I can gaze out of my window at the magnificent ash tree in our garden. It’s probably well over 100 years, towering over the entire neighbourhood, probably some 50-60 feet high. The boys look for it on the walk home from school and they can pick it out from more than a mile away. For many years, a pair of crows nested in it.

Our bedroom is at the very top of the three-storey house, and even there, your eyes still aren’t level with the top of the crown. I spent many a weary night with one wide-awake baby or another, propped up in bed, staring, half-asleep, at the familiar dark outlines of its branches.

It has watched over my family since we moved in 11 years ago, always there, solid and reassuring as we played, mowed, planted, weeded, partied, bonfired, dry-stone-walled, celebrated, cried, talked, bbq’d, napped, first-stepped, hammocked, dozed, picnicked, grew up, grew older…

I thought my ash would easily outlive me. Now I’m not so sure.

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