County Council monitoring health of Hampshire's ash trees
9 November 2012
In the light of the fungal threat to the nation's ash trees, Hampshire County Council has confirmed that it is monitoring the county's ash tree species for signs of the disease: Charlara fraxinea.
The disease is reported to have killed 90 per cent of Denmark's stock of ash trees and has been found in a number of locations across England since February. To date, no signs of the disease have been found in Hampshire.
Trees on the highway will continue to be inspected as part of the County Council's tree safety inspection programmes and council arboriculturists will be on alert and vigilant for signs of the disease on any ash trees (estimated to be over seven per cent of the tree stock on the highway).
With regard to the County Council's countryside responsibilities, planting of the common ash tree has been suspended on the Council's landholdings and in any work being carried out, such as planting hedgerows along Rights-of-Way.
Councillor Mel Kendal, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Environment and Transport, commented:
"We are just as concerned about this issue and its implications for Hampshire, as the Government is for the whole of the country. We will work closely with the relevant Government departments, including the Forestry Commission of course, as well as our district council partners, to do whatever we can to minimise the spread of this disease and prevent the loss of ash tree species from Hampshire's landscape.
"Our resources are not exhaustive however, and we would urge people who are out and about to take a particular interest in ash trees and look out for signs of the disease. People who have ash trees within the boundary of their private property are also advised to inspect them regularly. Anyone who thinks an ash tree could be showing signs of the disease is asked to report it to the Forestry Commission, and to provide detailed information about the tree's location."
Anyone who identifies signs of Charlara fraxinea in species of ash trees should report the infected tree to the Forestry Commission's Plant Health Service at firstname.lastname@example.org and also notify email@example.com
The disease has been listed as a quarantine pathogen under national emergency measures and the Forestry Commission has produced guidance, including help on how people can identify and report possible signs of infection.This can be found online at http://www.forestry.gov.uk