Weatherlore says that if an oak leafs before an ash then we will have a dry summer:

If the oak before the ash,
Then we’ll only have a splash.
If the ash before the oak,
Then we’ll surely have a soak!

There’s some good science behind this old saying. But what about the tree outside the window of your place of isolation, or along your daily permitted exercise route? Don’t let Covid-19 get in the way of some good citizen science! Which tree is out in leaf first near you?

oak before ash
This oak tree (bottom left) is in leaf before three ash trees, each of which are at different leafing stages

Complete the Survey

I’ve teamed up with the Small Woods Association to create this project. Take part in our simple survey, and I’ll update the map below regularly each day during April and May to present ‘live’ results.

Daily Results

Here are the live results. Please note that I’ll be updating the map twice a day, so be patient waiting for your data to become visible. Click on the arrow top left above the map to show the map key. Below the map is a graph which I’ll update with weekly results.

UK Map

Weekly Results Chart

Thanks for taking part!

The Ash or Oak project is run in conjunction with the
Small Woods Association


  1. I am wondering if it is the high early seasonal temperature that has made our oaks come into leaf before the Ash?

  2. WE were the first major outbreak of ash die-back in the westcountry so we have only about ten percent uninfected but no sign of leaf yet

    1. Author

      Hi John – yes It has devastated many woods and hedgerows. When I last checked there was only one 10km square in the UK unaffected by the fungus. Be sure to record leaf flushing when you can.

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