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Ash tree dieback
What is it?
Ash dieback or Chalara fraxinea is a serious disease of Ash
trees caused by a fungus called Chalara fraxinea that causes
leaf loss and crown dieback in affected trees and usually leads to
tree death. Ash trees suffering with Chalara dieback have been
found widely across Europe since it was first reported as a newly
identified pathogen in Poland in 1992. These have included forest
trees, trees in urban areas such as parks and gardens, and also
young trees in nurseries.
Where is it?
Medway Council has recently identified Chalara at Ranscombe Farm
Reserve and this has been confirmed by experts at the
Forestry Commission. This is the first confirmed report of Chalara
in the Medway area. Medway Council will be erecting signs warning
the public and recommends that the public disinfect shoes, boots
and other equipment if possible after walking or cycling in this
area as this may help reduce the spread the dispersal of fungal
spores. The overall spread of Chalara across the UK is being
monitored by the Forestry Commission whilst Tree officers at Medway
Council are continuing to monitor at a local level.
What should I do?
At this time the advice from the Forestry Commission is to
monitor for signs of the disease and report any newly infected
trees to them. Medway Council has carried out a survey of its trees
and the findings have been recorded and reported. The public should
monitor their trees and if they suspect the disease is present they
should contact Medway Council or the Forestry Commission and give
information about the location and number of trees affected.
Should I report it?
The website includes a map showing sites where the
disease has been found, a video on symptoms - which you
can also view below - and other useful
Reporting suspected cases
If you think you have spotted the disease please check the video
above and the Ash
Dieback Disease pictorial symptom guide before reporting
You can report it by:
- phoning the Chalara helpline: 08459 33 55 77
(open 8am to 6pm every day)
- emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- contacting Medway Council's tree team on 01634
The Forestry Commission is
the leading authority on this disease and the source of the most
up-to-date information and advice.
The public must take care if approached by rogue traders trying
to cash in on the outbreak of Ash dieback.
- You do not have to fell an Ash tree unless specifically
instructed by the Forestry Commission or if the trees have become
- You must not move wood or cuttings from ash trees from their
original site; any infected cuttings must be burnt
- You must not plant Ash trees at this time. If you are planning
to plant Ash trees, you should contact your supplier for an
alternative species. These restrictions will remain in place until
the Forestry Commission revokes them.