New AshTag app available – help secure a future for ash trees in Britain

posted on February 29, 2016

AshTag in the Apple store

We are excited to announce that our first app is now live in the Apple store – the new AshTag app.

Following the transfer of AshTag to the Sylva Foundation from the University of East Anglia, which first developed the app in 2012, we have been busy updating the app in readiness for a new season of ash tree tagging in 2016 – hopefully with your help!

We need to find ash trees across Britain that are tolerant to ash dieback. We expect that 2016 will witness the greatest spread of this devastating disease.

We offer the AshTag app to enable anyone to report on ash trees that are tolerant (to some degree) to ash dieback, caused by Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus – the fungus that causes ash dieback (formerly known as Chalara fraxinea).

We are most interested in larger trees but any tree can be surveyed. We are just as keen to learn about diseased trees as healthy trees. We are particularly keen to survey ash trees in every corner of Britain, because the genetics of ash trees vary across the country. Ideally, the trees selected need to be surveyed every year for at least three years, so that a detailed picture of their health is built up.

Ultimately, trees that appear to have some tolerance to ash dieback will be sampled by taking cuttings, and will enter a programme aiming to breed tolerant trees to secure a future for ash trees in Britain. We are working with partners the Earth Trust and Forest Research in this project, funded by Defra.

Using the AshTag app on your smartphone or tablet in the field makes the survey really simple

Using the AshTag app on your smartphone or tablet in the field makes the survey really simple

The survey consists of five questions and is simple to complete. To take part you can simply set up an account on the website, although using the app will allow you to enter information out in the field. If you would like to request a free AshTag pack, we have some limited supplies: apply here (if you have already requested a pack, don’t worry we have your name in our system). We are particularly keen to hear from those who run communities of volunteers (contact us).

If your tree appears to be tolerant, in the future you may be contacted by a scientist from the Living Ash Project who may be interested in sampling the tree to enter it into the breeding programme.


  1. Great news that the Sylva Foundation are taking this project forwards – I hope lots of new users sign up!

    Comment by Chris Blincoe — March 3, 2016 @ 11:11 am

  2. Is app only available for apple phones? I have got a BlackBerry Q5 and can get Android apps for it.

    Comment by Liz Ramsay — March 4, 2016 @ 1:33 pm

  3. Only a small proportion of the population have iPhones, wouldn’t it be better to make a good mobile website? That way it would be available to every smartphone, tablet and computer.

    Comment by David — March 4, 2016 @ 4:11 pm

  4. Thanks for your comment David. The AshTag app is actually a website too, simply packaged in a way that also makes it work as a mobile app. Simply visit

    Comment by Gabriel Hemery — March 9, 2016 @ 3:41 pm

  5. Thanks for your question Liz. The app is also available on the Android store:

    Comment by Gabriel Hemery — March 9, 2016 @ 3:43 pm

  6. […] AshTag – Most of us have heard of Ash dieback and the serious threat it poses to woodland in the UK. The Sylva Foundation is looking for people to monitor the health of the trees in their area and submit their findings using the AshTag app. […]

    Pingback by Five Great Projects for Citizen Scientists – WildCrowd Blog — October 19, 2016 @ 1:41 am

  7. Just got apple iPad but app not available in App Store it says, would like to be able to update on my local ash, tag no. 03471 tall tree in leaf, without reverting to work pc if possible. I will keep monitoring whatever.

    Comment by Robert — May 8, 2017 @ 9:06 pm

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