Tackling ash dieback at Brockhampton

Ash tree silhouettes taken from the ground looking up towards the sky

The ash tree is a native tree and there are an estimated eighty million throughout the UK which help shape some of our best loved landscapes. In March 2012, the fatal disease ‘ash dieback’ was confirmed present in the UK.

The Ash dieback fungus, also known as Chalara fraxinea causes leaf loss and crown dieback which often leads to the trees death. It is spread through pores which are released from fallen leaves and easily carried by the wind. Other species of native tree are not affected by the disease, nor do they aid the spread of ash dieback.

The UK has now banned the trade of ash tree plants and seeds to prevent the disease spreading even further. The focus now is on removing infected trees, on the Brockhampton estate and this will begin in September, once the birds have finished nesting.  Not only will this help reduce the chances of the disease spreading but also, infected trees become brittle making them extremely dangerous and susceptible to falling and many of our ash trees are planted along footpaths.

The decision to fell a tree is never a light decision but as a duty of care we must remove trees which pose danger to either people or buildings or if there is the threat of contamination to other trees.  Removing infected ash trees should help reduce the amount the disease spreads throughout the estate meaning a safer route for visitors and a stable habitat for wildlife.

Over time, we will be looking to replace the felled ash trees with native trees as well as planting hundreds of new fruit trees within the new orchards over the next three years.