This fungal disease is now widespread and most young ash trees in the woodland on Stinchcombe Hill are already infected. Ash is also a significant tree in hedgerows, fields and open spaces and we have many fine examples in our parish. Although isolated ash trees have a better chance of survival, some will inevitably be lost.
The Parish Council is asking everyone to look closely at any mature ash trees on their walks or bike rides. Please let us know the location of any that appear to be infected, with a photo if possible. Summer is the ideal time to do this because the signs are easier to spot. The Tree Council has produced a handy illustrated guide to the symptoms (attached pdf).
We are making this request for two reasons:
- Safety – the disease progressively weakens the tree’s structure leading to a much increased risk of falling branches, clearly a concern with large trees alongside public rights of way.
- Replacing important trees in our landscape – we can apply for funding to plant suitable replacement trees in public open spaces, on road verges and even on private land where the trees are visible to the public. CPRE Gloucestershire is taking applications now and projects must be completed by the end of this year.