Tree safety works are underway

At this time of year it's time to turn our attention to trees.

Around 30% of the land the Trust cares for is woodland with orchards in-field trees, hedgerows and avenues can also be found across our holding.

The majority of woodlands are on the lower slopes of the Malvern Hills near to highways and properties, and, as landowners, managing tree safety forms a large part of our winter works.

Each year a third of the trees near to highways, properties, car parks and busy visitor areas are inspected by a professional, independent tree inspector.  A report is submitted to the Trust by the inspector with recommendations for tree safety works.  The works may include pollarding, removal of dead wood or the felling of trees where they pose a significant risk to highways and properties and the work is scheduled for this winter.

Beck Baker, Community and Conservation Officer said "Over the coming weeks and months there will be a lot of activity around the Hills and Commons as we undertake this essential tree safety work.  

"Sadly we are having to respond to an increasing number of ash trees that are infected with ash dieback disease.  This has had a huge impact on the amount of resources that we need to put towards this safety work."

Ash dieback, which was first identified in the UK in 2012, has spread across the country and causes the wilting of leaves, shoots to die back and often the death of the tree.  It is estimated that up to 80% of ash trees will be lost in the UK.

Infected trees can become brittle and are likely to fail so the removal of severely infected trees near to highways and properties is essential.  It is believed that a small percentage of ash trees may be tolerant to the disease and ash trees on the Trust's estate showing little or no signs of disease will be left and monitored.

Safety work relating to ash trees is already underway and sadly trees have been identified for removal at a number of locations including British Camp, Holywell Road and the Wyche Road.

As a charity with 1,200 hectares of land under our care, we are facing huge financial pressures as the disease takes hold and more practical management is needed in response.  Many of the ash trees are on steep slopes near to roadsides requiring specialist and experienced contractors to safely remove them.  

We are asking for donation to help support the response to this devastating tree disease.