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European Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) photographed...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I was a little girl, I lived in a row of terraced houses, which was elevated above street level, with grassy slopes which led to the pavement- and all cordoned off by neat privet hedging at the bottom.

A path ran in front of the block of four dwellings.  At either end there was a flight of stone steps, with a double cast iron handrail- ideal for childish acrobatics.  And, to protect the whole block from witches, there was a rowan tree in the small garden patches of the end houses.

So, when I heard about dieback among ash trees, or Chalara fraxinea, to be precise, my first concern was whether rowan, or mountain ash was of the same susceptible genus.

I Googled and somehow found myself on a site about Alex Salmond.  What possible connection could there be between the First Minister and Pest Risk Analysis?

Apparently he had recorded a duet with Caledonia’s own Anne Lorne Gillies.  They sang a version of The Rowan Tree.  Could it be that Eck could transmit crown dieback on the Tree of Life, as sorbus aucuparia is sometimes known?

By giving them the vote prematurely, young saplings could suffer particular destruction and be infected in their nurseries with devolutionary disease.

Dinna fash yersel’!  Haud yer horses!  One of the nation’s- and I mean the UK’s favourite trees is thankfully immune to his kiss of death.  Just as well, as we don’t want to be exposed to any witchcraft from Nicola Sturgeon, Nanny, or Cutty Sarks in general. (see Burns’ Tam O’ Shanter for a clarification! Nothing to do with sailing ships built on the River Leven.)

So, nae sweat!  The rowan seems to be safe for the moment.  And The Scottish Assembly is safe from any more musical experiments, as The Presiding Officer, Tricia Marwick has banned singing in Holyrood.

 English: First Minister Alex Salmond and Deput...