Morgan, the UK’s largest independent automaker they sold about a thousand cars last year is under attack:
Morgan’s wood-framed sports cars are facing an existential threat: a species of fungus that infects ash trees, which are the source of wood used on Morgan’s legendary sports cars.
Ash has been used for over a century, but the situation could necessitate a switch to other kinds of wood. Ash dieback, as the disease is known, has been ravaging ash trees in the UK, and usually kills 90 percent of trees that become infected.
The fungus in question is Chalara fraxinea. Symptoms:
Initially, small necrotic spots (without exudate) appear on stems and branches. These necrotic lesions then enlarge resulting in wilting, dieback of branches and particularly in the death of the top of the crown. The disease is often chronic but can be lethal. It is particularly destructive of young ash plants, killing them within one growing season of symptoms becoming visible. Older trees can survive initial attacks, but tend to succumb eventually after several seasons of infection.
And there’s no point in chopping down the afflicted trees, either:
The infective material is all on the forest floor and cannot be removed or eradicated with fungicides without destroying countless other forms of forest life.
This stuff evidently sleeps even less than rust. Fortunately, Morgan doesn’t seem to be worried. Yet.