Flintshire’s on the case of ash dieback
Ash dieback is a fungal pathogen that affects the UK’s native ash tree and is the most significant tree disease to affect the whole of the UK since Dutch elm disease.
This disease has arrived in Flintshire with the potential to affect many thousands of ash trees in the County. There is no way to prevent the spread of this disease which means there are safety implications for both the Council and landowners where ash trees are situated near to people or property.
The Council has produced a Flintshire Ash Dieback Action Plan and will start to survey trees in the County starting in May, when the trees will have foliage (this is the best time to assess the trees).
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Countryside, Councillor Carolyn Thomas, said:
“This is the first year we will be surveying trees and we have a plan for which areas to target first. Obviously, it’s important to look at trees close to main roads and public areas and this will be the main focus of our initial work. We want to raise awareness among landowners that they must make themselves aware of the disease and its effects and ensure that they deal with any potential hazards.”
Ash dieback is not always fatal but there is a low survival rate. Evidence from mainland Europe suggests that 10% of trees exhibit moderate tolerance and 1% to 2% have a high level of disease tolerance.
The Council will ensure that protected species and habitats are safeguarded (e.g. nesting birds, bats and dormice), which will already be at risk because of the loss of ash tree habitat.
More information including guidance for landowners, managing trees for safety, protecting wildlife can be found on the Council’s web page flintshire.gov.uk/AshDieback.
Dead infected leaves hanging from branches
Dead bark forming a diamond shaped lesion arounddead side branch