What is ash dieback?
Ash dieback is a serious disease that affects ash trees and is caused by the fungus Chalara fraxinea. The fungus initially kills the leaves and then spreads to the branches and the main stem. This leads to the death of the whole tree.
Infected small trees may be killed very quickly, but large, mature trees may survive for several years.
The Government have put in place a number of measures to deal with Ash dieback. You can find out more by visiting the Forestry Commission website. It provides background information, details about the current spread of the disease, and guidance to help identify symptoms.
Where has it come from?
The disease was first identified in Poland during the 1990s. It has spread across Europe reaching the United Kingdom earlier this year.
On 15th November 2012, the disease had been identified on 184 sites in the UK. Of these, 15 are tree nurseries, 55 are newly planted sites and 114 sites are in the wider environment (e.g. natural woodland).
In Yorkshire, 8 nursery/newly planted sites are known to be infected and the disease has been identified on 4 sites in the wider environment.
Are trees in Leeds affected?
There has been only one confirmed site in Leeds. This is at a newly planted newly planted, privately owned site. The Forestry Commission have confirmed that the site is under quarantine and that the infected trees are being destroyed.
No other sites in Leeds are known to be infected at this time.
We are in consultation with the Forestry Commission and are aware of the survey work that they have been doing. We are making arrangements for a local co-ordinated approach with them should we need to deal with any problems that occur in the Leeds area.
How you can help
If you suspect that a Council owned ash tree is infected please let us know. Please call 0113395 7400
Report suspected cases on privately owned trees direct to the Forestry Commission
Chalara helpline: 08459 33 55 77 (open 8am - 6pm every day)