Some of our most common trees are under threat from disease and this will have a long-lasting effect on the structure and ecology of our wonderful woodlands.
This National Tree Week we'd like to highlight some of the issues that our trees are facing and how you can help.
Ash dieback disease was identified in Britain in 2012 and has spread across the country with many of the ash trees around the Hills and Commons showing signs of inspection. Sadly, it is expected that 60-80% of all ash trees will be lost to the disease. There is evidence that infected ash trees become brittle and therefore practical intervention to felling ash trees in high risk areas with the most severe infections is required.
In addition to our response to ash dieback, we carry out a routine tree safety programme as many of the trees under our care are on the lower slopes of the Hills, near to properties and roads. For public safety, each year a third of trees on Trust’s land next to properties and roads are surveyed to identify any potential risks. This year the survey area includes trees at Newland, Sherrards Green and Colwall and work will be carried out in these areas this winter.
Recommendations in the tree safety report include the removal of dead branches from trees, pruning, and, in some cases, felling. Any trees that are recommended to be felled that are notable or are part of an avenue will be replaced with new saplings wherever possible to ensure the characteristic avenues and landscapes are maintained.
Beck added "The impact of ash dieback disease on the landscape is huge and the ecology of our woodlands will change dramatically. It is also having a significant impact on our resources as we respond by removing infected trees near to properties, highways and car parks for public safety. The impacts of ash dieback disease are increasing our need to undertake such tree safety works and as a small charity, your support in helping us deal with this disease is essential. Where possible, please give generously through Just Giving to support our work in responding to this crisis and to help us replant replacement trees where possible."
A Christmas concert to raise funds for replacement trees is being held on December 16th at Little Malvern Priory. All are welcome and donations will be gratefully received.