Thousands of Lancashire trees close to roads at risk from Ash Dieback

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Lancashire County Council's tree survey has revealed over 90% of all ash trees inspected in the county to be infected with Ash Dieback disease.

The county council has checked almost 10,000 of ash trees next to roads throughout Lancashire over the summer and of these, has found over 90% are showing signs of the disease.

Ash Dieback, also known as Chalara, affects the UK's native ash species European or Common ash, and has spread throughout the UK in recent years. There is currently no cure and it can lead to infected trees shedding branches or limbs, or potentially collapsing as the tree dies.

It is estimated that around 65% of ash trees are privately owned so it is the responsibility of the tree owner to ensure they are in a safe condition. The council wants to remind residents, businesses and landowners to check their ash trees whilst they are still in leaf to ensure they do not become a hazard to road users or people using adjacent pavements.

County Councillor Charlie Edwards, cabinet member for highways and transport at Lancashire County Council said:
"The findings of our tree survey show a similar picture to other parts of the country, but we are now able to confirm the scale of the problem in Lancashire with thousands of infected ash trees next to roads, as well as many others alongside countryside paths, and on other properties.

"We will be notifying some landowners if we find through our inspections that they have a tree that is a danger to a highway or footpath. But there will be many more trees on private property throughout the county that could pose a risk to other people or property, so it is important that tree owners look out for signs of the disease.

"Autumn offers the last chance this year to check your trees for more obvious signs of Ash Dieback before they lose their leaves in the first frosts. Infected trees should be regularly inspected by a professional so that, as the disease progresses, appropriate decisions can be made and accidents can be prevented.

"Timing inspections this way allows any work that is needed to be carried out to infected trees to be done over the winter, when it is safer to do so and better for the health of the tree.

“Infected ash trees are more susceptible to storm damage and could pose a real danger if not made safe so it's particularly important to have work done earlier in the season.”

You can find information and advice including a new video, and links to resources provided by organisations such as the Forestry Commission and Woodland Trust at

Tagged as: Roads, Parking and Travel

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