William Eichler 01 July 2019

Ash tree disease poses public safety risk in Wales, council chiefs say

Local authorities have committed themselves to tackling a notorious ash tree disease that has spread across Wales.

Ash Dieback is a fungal disease that affects all species of ash trees. It attaches itself to the leaves of the trees and spreads through to the branches, eventually killing the tree.

According to the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), the disease has spread west across Wales and is now affecting almost all parts of the country.

It poses a public safety hazard because affected trees can collapse without warning on people, property, power lines and roads.

A solution is yet to be found to halt the spread of the infection, the WLGA says, which means the only option at the moment is to fell the infected trees.

‘It is very sad to see so many ash trees affected across the UK,’ said Cllr Ray Quant, WLGA deputy environment spokesperson.

‘Our immediate and primary concern is to survey the risk posed to public safety by infected trees on public land becoming unsound.

‘Councils are working with Welsh government, the Woodland Trust and other partners as part of a working group set up to deal with the issue of Ash Dieback, which has been reported all over Wales.’

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