31st October 2012

Bournemouth Checking for Ash Dieback Disease

31st October 2012

Bournemouth Council's parks and gardens team, along with our army of volunteer tree wardens, are checking for signs of the devastating Ash Dieback disease which has been causing widespread damage to Ash tree populations across Europe.

Gary Josey, Service Director for Parks said: "The Forestry Commission has alerted us to the potential threat of this disease, which causes leaf loss and crown dieback, and can lead to tree death. Young trees are more significantly affected and as a result we will not be planting any further Ash trees in the borough until the scope of the risk becomes clearer".

"We are frequently inspecting our Ash trees and thankfully we have no signs of the disease in Bournemouth. However all staff working in the open spaces have been asked to be vigilant and report any possible cases to the tree team for further investigation. Our volunteer wardens do a fantastic job all year round, and are also aware of the situation - as part of their normal duties they will be monitoring for potential cases."

Ash Dieback disease, a fungus called Chalara fraxinea, was first noticed in this country earlier this year with the initial cases confined to nurseries and young trees imported from the continent. Some cases have since been reported but these have been development site landscape projects which have planted young Ash trees sourced from nurseries.

The basic symptoms of the disease are early leaf curl, dead branches and lesions to the trunk. More detailed information about what to look out for can be found at: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/chalara.

Anyone who spots any suspicious symptoms should report it to one of the organisations listed on the Forestry Commission of Great Britain website, or to the Council. All enquiries regarding Ash disease on trees on private land within Bournemouth should be directed to Jerry Kelsey, Patrick Clarke or Andrew Cleaves in the tree section of the Planning team on 01202 451323. Concerns about any council managed trees should be directed to the Parks team on 01202 451629.