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We own and manage more than 100,000 trees across the city: street trees; trees in parks and spaces; trees in school grounds and trees in many other public spaces.
In addition, we are also responsible for over 800 acres of woodland. To look after our trees we employ a team of Arboricultural Officers who carry out:
We are proud of our trees and appreciate the positive impact they have on the city. You can find more information on the benefits of trees in cities in the new Forestry Commission Research Report (pdf, 2.0 MB)(opens new window).
We want to see many more trees planted in the city and achieve a 30% tree canopy cover up from 14% today. To help us in this task we are inviting residents to sponsor a tree or join us at one of our tree planting events.
A new disease affecting ash trees (Fraxinus sp.) has recently been found in Britain. The disease has already caused extensive loss of ash trees in mainland Europe, and could be a major threat to wild and planted ash in the UK if it takes hold here.
What is Chalara fraxinea?
Chalara dieback of ash caused by the fungus Chalara fraxinea was found in the UK for the first time earlier this year in young ash plants in tree nurseries and recently planted sites, including a car park, a college campus, and a new woodland.
The disease is characterised by the premature loss of leaves from the outer parts of the crown (top and sides), accompanied by long diamond-shaped lesions or areas of sunken and discoloured bark on twigs. These lesions girdle twigs and small branches, starving the leaves above of water and nutrients and causing whole branches to die. In mature trees, it is the new growth that is affected.
What is being done about the disease?
The disease has not yet been found in the South West. However, the council is being vigilant for signs of the disease in its trees across the city, and will remove any affected trees before infection spreads should any be found.
From Monday October 29, 2012, the government has implemented a ban on the import of ash plants into the UK and on the movement of ash plants, seeds and trees into and around the UK. The ban does not extend to the movement of ash timber or firewood except from sites where the disease has already been found.
What are the signs of the disease?
Video on YouTube showing how to identify the disease by the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA).
Diagnostic guide to the symptoms of Chalara (pdf) by the Forestry Commission
Note that because one of the symptoms of Chalara fraxinea is leaf loss, identification of the disease will be difficult at this time of year (autumn) when the trees are losing their leaves.
What should I do if I think I have found Chalara disease?
The disease has been classified as “notifiable” by DEFRA, which means that a suspected cases of the disease must be reported to the appropriate plant health authorities. If you think that you have identified Chalara fraxinea on an ash tree, then you should contact one of the following bodies:
Forest Research Disease Diagnostic Advisory Service
Tel: 01420 23000
Forestry Commission Plant Health Service
Tel: 0131 314 6414
FERA Plant Health and Seeds Inspectorate
Tel: 01904 465625