Posted: September 22, 2020

Chalara Fraxinea - Dieback of ash

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Ash Dieback is now firmly established in St Albans & also in other local authority areas in Hertfordshire. Information is now being shared between authorities & associations so that a well informed and consistent approach can be made in terms of managing the disease on publicly accessible land and also in the provision of advice to the general public.

The fungus is extremely aggressive and symptoms become obvious in younger trees within months rather than years. Trees cannot recover from infection, but larger trees can survive infection for a considerable time and some might have genetic resistance and not die. (Current experience from Denmark).In line with national guidance. It is advised to retain ash trees where possible, & consult us if you have any concerns. Even if your tree was found to be infected, protected trees covered by a TPO, would still need to be examined & any remedial works applied for.

Owners of ash trees are encouraged to seek advice from a qualified arborist such as ourselves if it is considered that there may be an immediate risk to your, or the public´s safety. There are currently 310 TPO sites containing Ash with approximately 470 ash trees in total.

It is hoped that by compiling the information of all confirmed infected sites, it will be possible to develop a better understanding of the impact of the disease, especially now a fresh theory is being explored, that the ash dieback may have been present in trees of a semi-mature age for a longer time than first thought. It is also hoped that this information will lead to a better idea of where the disease originated. Large quantities of ash were imported from parts of continental Europe where the disease had been present before 2007 and this could mean that the disease was present on a very small proportion of plants imported from the continent at least 10 years ago.


The symptoms to look for are very similar from young to mature trees, but trees in the 6-20 age range will have grown above head height, making it more difficult to identify leaf symptoms. However, bark lesions, often diamond shaped and centred on side branches, will usually be visible, and will be larger on thicker stems (trunks). The crowns of infected trees can show evidence of dying back and have fewer leaves than those of healthy trees. There is also a greater likelihood of finding the blackened rachi, or leaf stalks, on the ground with the tiny, white, mushroom-like fruiting bodies on them. Following leaf wilt the blackened rachis are also likely to be found attached to twigs. Go to for further information on Chalara.


What you should do?

Contact Us – We can determine if your tree has been infected & advise you what measures should be taken next. If your tree is infected, it does NOT mean that your tree has to be immediately removed.

Please be aware of Rogue or cold calling tradesman advising of unnecessary works. There are already reports of workman posing as Tree Surgeons ˜offering advice” on this subject, so please seek appropriate advice.

Suspected sites anywhere in Great Britain can also be reported via the Forestry Commission´s on-line reporting form at:, or by calling the Defra hotline on 08459 33 55 77.

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    • Trained, experienced & well presented arborists
    • Approved contractor for highways agency & local authorities
    • Full public liability insurance
    Free site visits and estimates. For more information call us on 01727 638 216

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