Ash Dieback Disease

Numerous media articles have reported on this disease and in light of this Bath and North East Somerset Council is keen to ensure that our residents have the facts and know who to contact if necessary.

Further information can be found on the Forestry Commission’s website at:
https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/tools-and-resources/pest-and-disease-resources/chalara-ash-dieback-hymenoscyphus-fraxineus/

The Forestry Commission has also provided the following guidance on the management of individual ash trees affected by ash dieback:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/823972/ON046a_Managing_individual_ash_affected_by_dieback_v1.0.pdf

Owners of Ash trees which are protected by Tree Preservation Orders or Conservation Areas are advised that the potential for a tree to become infected will not be a significant consideration when determining a response to applications or notifications. Infection is not considered an exemption unless a tree or parts of the tree have become dead or dangerous.

There is no statutory requirement to notify any government body of the presence of Chalara Ash Dieback, however, you are encouraged to record a sighting using the Forestry Commissions Tree Alert to help identify tolerant trees at: https://treealert.forestry.gov.uk/

What you can do:

1. Be vigilant, monitor your Ash trees and be familiar with the signs of Ash Dieback.
2. Be aware of the location of the trees, would they pose a hazard to neighbouring property or  roads.
3. Seek professional advice on whether they should be pruned or felled or whether it is safe to leave them for the benefit of wildlife and to establish if they demonstrate genetic resilience.
4. Plant replacements. Trees provide us with multiple benefits and Ash trees support a diverse range of wildlife.  Alternative species combined can help bridge the gap whilst diversity also helps improve resilience of our tree population to climate change impacts and other pests and disease. Suggested species include Sycamore, Oak, Elm, Beech, Field Maple, Small-leaved Lime, Birch Cherry , Wild Cherry, Aspen, Hazel, Crab Apple, Rowan, Holly and Hawthorn.

More detailed information on the ecological impacts of Ash Dieback has been produced by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and can be found at http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-6459

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