Ash trees in the foreground and dead ones behind.
THE SOLENT will not protect the Isle of Wight from the transmission of a deadly disease that threatens millions of ash trees in the UK.
Spores of the fungus, which threatens to devastate woods and forests, are airborne so separation from the mainland would not prevent transmission, say experts.
The Isle of Wight Council has warned people not to bring potentially infected saplings, timber or firewood from the mainland, to ensure the Isle of Wight remains free of chalara fraxinea, known as Ash dieback.
It has circulated tree contractors with a factsheet.
Isle of Wight Council tree officer, Jerry Willis, said: "Ash make up about half the trees in our woodland and their loss would be a disaster. As an indigenous tree, there are a lot of species which depend on it.
"I have had reports and have so far investigated one of them, which proved not to be a case of infection,"
"I am more than happy for people to contact me if they are concerned about a tree but it will be easier for symptoms to be identified in the spring if new growth starts to die back.
"Infected trees have to be burned, or buried, on site."
The first sign of infection is when leaves start to die at the tree crown.
It then spreads to branches and the trunk, where dark lesions appear before the tree dies.
The government has been accused of ignoring warnings on the issue.
More than 100,000 trees have been felled already, just eight months after the infection was first identified at a Buckinghamshire nursery.
But despite mass felling and an European import ban, experts have predicted it could be as devastating to the ash as Dutch Elm disease was to the English elm.
The Forestry Commission has issued advice on its website here and pictures of the symptoms here.
A video had been produced by the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) to explain the symptoms which can be seen below: