A number of clients have recently reported an increase in the deterioration of trees on their land, including along roadsides, on public right of ways, and on boundaries with neighbouring property – all of which can cause problems.

Many trees in our region have been affected by diseases including ash dieback. Ash dieback will kill around 80% of ash trees across the UK. At a cost of billions, the effects will be staggering. It will change the landscape forever and threaten many species which rely on ash.

What happens to a tree affected by ash dieback

The fungus overwinters in leaf litter on the ground, particularly on ash leaf stalks. It produces small white fruiting bodies between July and October which release spores into the surrounding atmosphere.

These spores can blow tens of miles away. They land on leaves, stick to and then penetrate into the leaf and beyond. The fungus then grows inside the tree, eventually blocking its water transport systems

The tree can shed branches and limbs – and it’s even possible for the whole tree to collapse. Large trees have the potential to kill or seriously injure people, and damage property and vehicles. Such issues should be of paramount consideration for tree owners when deciding how to manage any trees affected by disease.

Regular tree audit surveys protect you as well as others

Regular tree audit surveys can help prevent damage or accidents caused by rotting trees. Landowner’s should be aware of the importance of having higher-risk trees surveyed regularly (approximatley every 3 to 5 years) and follow any recommended actions to make these trees as safe as possible. In some circumstances this may mean removing the entire tree.

In the event of an accident, to avoid complications or loss of insurance cover, it will be necessary for a landowner to demonstrate that all necessary steps were taken to make their trees safe. Landlowners should also check their insurance policies to ensure the appropriate cover is included.

If you would like any advice on woodland management or other woodland matters, please call Richard Edge or Alex Orttewell on 01935 852170 or email info@assetsphere.co.uk