Ash dieback task force to protect trees
A SPECIAL team has been put together by the council to monitor the disease that is threatening the area's ash trees.
Although no cases of ash dieback have been confirmed on public land in North East Lincolnshire, council bosses are "remaining vigilant".
It comes after the Forestry Commission announced last week that cases had been identified in the Lincolnshire Wolds.
Jason Longhurst, head of development at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: "A team has been brought together to closely monitor the situation across the area, and it is working closely with the Forestry Commission (FC), the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Woodland Trust, among others, to keep abreast of developments. "The Council will take on board any guidance that is issued.
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"An initial survey of our parks and open spaces has been undertaken, and there are currently no cases of ash dieback on public land for the council to report. We do, however, continue to remain vigilant."
He said: "Proactive steps have already been taken by the council. For example, changes were made ahead of the recent Jubilee tree planting projects to ensure that ash trees were not used.
"Ash dieback is clearly a national issue and that requires a national response. At this time of year it is difficult to spot it, but one way is to look for a diamond shaped indentation and discolouration at the base of the stem. If residents have a suspected case, we urge them to check the information that has been made publicly available by The Forestry Commission before reporting it to them via their helpline."
Chalara dieback of ash is a serious disease of ash trees caused by a fungus called Chalara fraxine.
The disease causes leaf loss and crown dieback in affected trees, and it can lead to tree death.
Ash trees suffering with the infection have been found widely across Europe since trees now believed to have been infected with this newly identified pathogen were reported dying in large numbers in Poland in 1992. These have included forest trees, trees in urban areas such as parks and gardens, and also young trees in nurseries.
In February this year, it was found in a consignment of infected trees sent from a nursery in the Netherlands to a nursery in Buckinghamshire. Since then it has been found in a number of locations in England and Scotland, including three in the Wolds area.