Rädda Asken is an initiative which came to life when the researchers Lars-Göran Stener and Michelle Cleary started to study the Ash Dieback and its’ effects during the decades. When Lars-Göran discovered that 2-5% of the investigated ashes had a hereditary resistance against the disease, a plan was made to improve the stock of candidate trees for the breeding trials. The idea was to ask the public for locations of healthy-looking ashes in infected stands. The scientists wrote their first article on the subject in 2014, which was titled “Rädda asken! Hur du kan hjälpa till med att motverka askskottsjukan” (”Save the ash! How you can help preventing the Ash Dieback”). It was sent to a number of nature and forest magazines, and the response from the public was bigger than expected. The aim with this project was and still is to save the ash from extinction and secure a resilient population for the future. Today this work is continues by Michelle Cleary together with her colleagues Mateusz Liziniewicz and their students in the team.


Our research includes both long-term genetic trials and citizen science (due to the suggestions coming in from the public). In the forthcoming years, we will continue to investigate new areas as well as follow-up on the already selected ashes. The ash inventory has today been made across almost the full range of the ash tree’s natural habitat in Sweden. However, new information is always appreciated, and if you have an ash stand with both healthy and infected ashes, do not hesitate to contact us!


Scientists aside, there is a large number of people who helped making this project a great success. First and foremost, we want to thank all the citizens that have sent us suggestions. Below, a slideshow is displaying some of you that got a visit from us during the summer of 2020. Thank you!

Moreover, the project has been financed by the following institutions and funds:

  • Skogforsk
  • Forest Damage Center
  • Stiftelsen Stina Werners fond
  • Föreningen Skogsträdsförädling
  • Skogssällskapet
  • Sparbanken Skåne

Last but not least, there are many other scientists that research the Ash Dieback and have led the way to the knowledge we possess today. Thank you for your contribution to the field!

Our research team

Michelle Cleary

Michelle Cleary is an Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer in Forest Pathology at SLU. She has been working with ash decline in Sweden for 10 years, and is broadly involved in other research on native and invasive forest pathogens that threaten the economic and ecological sustainability of forests.

Mateusz Liziniewicz

Mateusz Liziniewicz is a scientist at Skogforsk, who's research involves genetics & tree breeding as well as forest management & production. He is responsible for the hardwood breeding at Skogforsk and has a high interest in making sure that breeding science is used improve commercial forestry.

Beatrice Tolio 

Beatrice is a PhD student based at both SLU and Skogforsk, with strong interests in forest pathology, genetics, biodiversity and tree breeding. Her background education is in forestry from Italy and she has travelled abroad for several Erasmus internship periods e.g. in Lithuania and Sweden. She is interested in contributing to the 'solution' for ash dieback.