Law on Ash dieback?

Law on Ash dieback?

Postby JohnP1950 » Sun Nov 24, 2013 3:01 pm

My sister lives in south east Wales and has a moderately large Ash in her front garden. I don't know whether it is relevant, but the top branches overhang a bridleway by a couple of feet. As far as we know it is a healthy specimen: there is no obvious sign of disease

Last week someone claiming to be a tree surgeon knocked on her door and told her he had noticed the tree was suffering from Ash dieback disease. He said you could tell it was diseased by the lack of leaves. My sister thinks the time of year and the recent gales were responsible for the leaf loss, but apparently he was quite insistent that it needed cutting down and said that if he didn't do it, the council would slap some sort of order on it and it would cost five times as much for them to cut it down.

My sister sent him packing, but it does raise the question if the law on this. Does anybody know a tree owner's resonsibilities and liabilities should Ash dieback really strike?
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Re: Law on Ash dieback?

Postby appledore » Sun Nov 24, 2013 5:32 pm

There was an article in the Daily Mail the other day about Ash dieback. Apparently the Forestry Commission has had hundreds of calls from people mistaking the withering of seed pods for symptoms of dieback.

If your sister is at all concerned about her tree and it doesn't sound as though she is, then she would be wise to contact a reputable tree surgeon for his opinion. She did right to send the chap who turned up on her doorstep packing.
Keep calm and carry on.
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Re: Law on Ash dieback?

Postby TO » Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:15 pm

Hi

Your sister did the right thing. The "tree surgeon" was in fact a con man. Never ever employ door knockers. If they return make a note of their number plate and report them to Trading Standards and the Police.

Regards the law, check out the Forestry Commission website where you will find all you need to know.

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-8w9euv

There's plenty more if you search on their site.

Pre-emptive felling of trees is discouraged, and even trees that are diseased should be managed, and that doesn't necessarily mean felling. All part of the strategy to find trees that are resistant, which you won't if you fell them.

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Re: Law on Ash dieback?

Postby JohnP1950 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:40 am

Thank you both, appledore and TO, for your advice. My sister has read your replies and is relieved by what you say TO. Do you know who would have the authority to enforce a particular course of remedial action or felling if the disease were ever to be found? As I say, at the moment, the tree seems perfectly healthy - at least, to our untrained eyes.
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Re: Law on Ash dieback?

Postby TO » Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:14 pm

Hi

JohnP1950 wrote: Do you know who would have the authority to enforce a particular course of remedial action or felling if the disease were ever to be found?
No enforcement is taking place, and is unlikely to ever to place on mature ash trees, it's not government policy, in fact the policy is the exact opposite. That is leave the trees in situ and let the disease take its course. This will allow resistant trees to be identified and stock to be grown on from them. Action is only being taken on nursery stock, or recently planted sites.

The responsible authority would enforce a particular course of action. This would most likely be the Forestry Commission, but could be DEFRA or FERA, or your local devolved government departments. But as I have said, existing trees are very unlikely to be the subject of enforcement, it's not, is completely opposite to, and is very unlikely to become government policy. The "tree surgeon" who visited your sister was trying it on, and there are plenty of rogues out there who will. No doubt cash in hand, and at best a mobile number.

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Re: Law on Ash dieback?

Postby COGGY » Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:36 pm

Years ago I had someone who called himself a "tree surgeon" knock at the door and ask first about cutting back the laburnum tree in the front garden, then proceeded to ask if he could also look at the silver birch in the back garden, which he stated needed attention. After I had refused to walk into the back garden with him, suggesting instead that he call back when my husband was home, I noticed a young chap leaning on the wall outside our garden, partly hidden by our shrubs. Surprisingly no-one called back when my husband was home. At least no opportunist was able to get into the house.
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Re: Law on Ash dieback?

Postby appledore » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:23 pm

A "tree surgeon" came round the estate where we lived previously offering to cut back trees. We sent him packing, but quite a lot of people let him loose on their trees. What a mess. They looked like a cross between a lollipop and a bottle brush. Nothing looks worse than a tree that isn't tree shaped.
Keep calm and carry on.
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