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Find out more about Ash Dieback at park talk

Ash tree

Worcester residents are being offered the chance to find out more about Ash Dieback and how it will be dealt with across the city.

Worcester City Council's Tree Officer Harry Simms is to give a talk about the tree disease at an event in the Sons of Rest Building in Gheluvelt Park on Saturday April 29 at 11am. The talk will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

Ash Dieback leads to leaf loss and dead branches and can make a tree more prone to secondary infections. Once infection is apparent, few trees survive longer than four years and become increasingly dangerous as the disease progresses.

The disease is UK wide and millions of Ash trees across the country have already been felled. It is believed that around 5,000 Ash trees will be expected that a significant number of Ash trees on City Council land will be lost over the next ten years. Advice from the Forestry Commission and Forest Research Agency is that diseased Ash trees in public spaces should be removed early once infection has been diagnosed, to protect public safety.

Trees in Worcester showing high levels of resistance to Ash Dieback are being identified and will be protected and preserved. In future, seeds may be collected from these trees and grown to restore Ash trees to the UK.

Worcester City Council's Tree Officer, Harry Simms, said: "Ash Dieback is a UK wide disease and it is important that we take action to deal with the diseased trees. I hope that my talk and the following question and answer session will help further explain what Ash Dieback is – and how we are dealing with it here in Worcester.

"Although many affected Ash trees will have to be removed, they will be replaced with a variety of different trees to promote tree diversity, which will help lower the risk of future disease outbreaks having such a severe impact. These new trees will be mostly native species and will build on a tree planting programme which has seen Worcester City Council already plant hundreds of new tree whips and saplings across city locations."

Trees already earmarked for felling include a large tree next to the access road to Astwood Cemetery plus several mature Ash trees in locations such as Diglis Park, Dines Green and Gheluvelt Park. 

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