Ash Dieback found in 40 per cent of Isle of Wight inspected trees

At least 60 trees will need to be felled in the coming months after an inspection found that 169 – have been identified with Ash Dieback

Ash Tree

Island Roads’ annual survey of highway trees has revealed a significant level of Ash Dieback disease.  

The Woodland Trust estimates the disease could kill around 80% of ash trees across the UK, changing the landscape forever and threatening many species which rely on ash. Ash Dieback is now found throughout the country, but it can take some years before trees are visibly affected. 

Recently, Island Roads’ annual inspection of trees has taken particular account of Ash Dieback – a fungal infection that grows inside the tree, eventually blocking its water transport systems, causing it to die.  

40 percent identified with Ash Dieback
Sadly, of the 418 trees inspected by Island Roads recently, 169 – about 40 percent – have been identified with Ash Dieback.  

Island Roads will now develop a plan for the best management of these infected trees. Factors such as safety, contractual requirements, and impact of felling work on the travelling public will all be considered.  

60 trees will need to be felled in coming months
Government advice is that Ash trees should not be felled pre-emptively but monitored to ensure they do not become a danger. However, the extent of the disease is such that at least around 60 trees will need to be felled in the coming months.  

Data from the recent survey is also shared with the council’s tree officer to help the authority manage the risks from Ash Dieback on trees on land owned by the authority and to inform guidance for private landowners on what to do with infected trees.  

Roberts: Will unfortunately be necessary to remove trees
Mark Roberts, Island Roads asset manager, said:

“As expected, Ash Dieback has been found in our treestock and will need careful management in the coming months and years. 

“No one likes to see trees cut down but safety has to be the primary consideration and it will unfortunately be necessary to remove trees that pose a risk to highway users. I am afraid that there will be other landowners who will need to take similar action because unfortunately trees do not recover from Ash Dieback.” 

With the summer drawing to a close, Island Roads is reminding landowners of the need to manage trees so they do not pose a risk to road users. Advice in this respect is available in a leaflet entitled Inspect and Protect which is available on the Website.

Landowners must take action to protect the public
Mark said:

“Landowners must take certain action to protect members of the public – and themselves – from falling trees or branches. 

“The Inspect and Protect leaflets outline these steps and we are always here to advise landowners if they are in any doubt how to safely manage trees on their land that may affect the highway.” 

For more information see the Forest Research Website.


News shared by Gavin on behalf of Island Roads. Ed

Wednesday, 9th September, 2020 3:43pm

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3 Comments on "Ash Dieback found in 40 per cent of Isle of Wight inspected trees"

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Mr Magoo

Reading Steve’s interesting observations, I found myself singing lines I remembered from Joni Mitchell’s song The Big Yellow Taxi.
“They took all the trees
“Put them in a tree museum
“And they charged all the people
“A dollar and a half to see ’em
“Don’t it always seem to go
“That you don’t know what you’ve got
‘Til it’s gone.”

Mr Magoo

Sixty trees felled in an area the size of the Island does not sound too alarming but I remember in the 1970s when Dutch Elm Disease laid waste to the south of England and the impact that had on the treescape.

Steve Goodman
Brighton and Hove held out against DED, nurturing and maintaining its elm population at more or less the pre-1980s level. Complete disaster was avoided thanks to people like Rob Greenland, who was the senior arboralist on the council during the darkest days of the disease (which is also a reminder that councils used to employ skilled people rather than divert lots of our money into the pockets… Read more »