Work is about to begin in Worcester to remove diseased and dangerous trees affected by Ash Dieback.
Ash Dieback leads to leaf loss and dead branches and can cause lesions at the base of the tree, while also making it more prone to secondary infections. Once infection is apparent, few trees survive longer than four years and become increasingly dangerous as the disease progresses.
The disease is UK wide and millions of Ash trees across the country have already been felled. The effect of Ash Dieback upon the UK will be similar to that of Dutch Elm Disease, which saw millions of trees lost in the 1970s.
It is expected that a significant number of Ash trees on City Council land will be lost over the next ten years. Advice from the Forestry Commission and Forest Research Agency is that diseased Ash trees in public spaces should be removed early once infection has been diagnosed, to protect public safety. Around 5,000 Ash trees on city council land are likely to be affected, sadly this includes the many Ash trees in this parish.
Trees in Worcester showing high levels of resistance to Ash Dieback are being identified and will be protected and preserved. In future, seeds may be collected from these trees and grown to restore Ash trees to the UK.
The diseased trees will be replaced with a variety of different trees to promote tree diversity, focussing mostly on native species, building on a tree planting programme which has seen Worcester City Council already plant hundreds of new tree whips and saplings across city locations. Tree diversity will help lower the risk of future disease outbreaks having such a severe impact.
The tree felling programme will begin in the next few weeks with several mature trees being removed from Diglis Park, Dines Green and Astwood Cemetery.
If you wish to find out more and how you can get involved there will be a Q & A Session at the Sons of Rest Building, Gheluvelt Park Saturday 29th April. @11.00 am Everyone is welcome.