Work to begin on removing diseased ash trees in Ironbridge Gorge

By Lisa O'Brien | Ironbridge | Environment | Published:

Work to remove up to 15 diseased ash trees in the Ironbridge Gorge starts this week.

Ash dieback was first found in the UK in 2012 and is lethal to most ash trees (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Ash dieback is a fungus spread through spores that has been sweeping across the UK since it was first spotted in 2012 when an imported nursery tree from Asia brought the disease to these shores.

In 2013, Telford and Wrekin recorded its first case.

It is expected that almost all of England’s ash trees will die from the disease and the impact in the borough will be significant.

In 2018, Telford & Wrekin Council commissioned a tree survey to log the location of every tree, its type, height and spread, overall health and proximity to buildings. A risk rating was applied to each tree, identifying trees in poor condition that require urgent maintenance or removal, including ash trees affected by ash dieback.

Between 10 to 15 ash trees in the Gorge near the road need to be removed for safety reasons as branches could fall from dying trunks.

Councillor Carolyn Healy, Telford & Wrekin Council cabinet member for climate change and natural environment, said: “The loss of these trees will be felt by many, but there’s currently no other option with this awful disease.”

Our plan is to see what natural regeneration comes and we will then look to replant with natives that are resistant to diseases and climate change.

“This is a major challenge for the whole country, but it is also an opportunity for us locally to safeguard and protect our trees and woodlands for the longer term.”

Timber from the felled trees will be removed and sold for green biomass energy.

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.


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