Ash Dieback Disease

More information about Ash Dieback and your responsibilities for any trees on your land, including where you can get further advice.

Ash dieback disease is spreading throughout Devon.

Losing one of our most abundant native tree species will have a massive effect on our landscape, hedges and the wildlife they support. Dying trees adjacent to highways and other public places also pose safety risks to people.

  • Over 90% of ash trees in Devon are likely to be affected by the disease.
  • 448,000 ash trees are within falling distance of a highway in Devon.
  • 99% of these trees are the responsibility of private landowners.

My tree? My responsibility!

Landowners have a duty to manage trees on their land, and take appropriate action to minimise risks to public safety from diseased trees. Find out more about ash dieback, and get advice and support from Devon Ash Dieback Resilience Forum.

If tree owners require assistance in finding a suitably qualified and insured arborist, information is available at The Arboricultural Association.  Please note our Tree Officer is currently unable to undertake routine inspection visits to privately owned trees.  The exception to this is where the visit is part of the processes involved in an existing, validated application for trees subject to a TPO or within a Conservation Area.

Trees next to roads and footpaths

If you have concerns that Ash trees growing alongside highways, byways, bridleways or footpath may be subject to infection by Ash Dieback, it is important that these trees are reported to Devon County Council highways. You can do this via their website.

I believe a tree protected by a TPO or in a Conservation Area is suffering from Ash Dieback

If you have ash trees on your land, you should monitor them throughout the growing season.

The most effective way of monitoring is to photograph the tree at regular intervals throughout the growing season (March to September). The photos should show crown density, non-seasonal leaf loss or colour changes, excessive amounts of dead wood, and/or any lesions or damage to the main trunk.

This will allow you to identify changes to the health of the tree and can be submitted as evidence in support of a future application, should works become necessary.

It is rarely possible to diagnose Ash Dieback disease outside the growing season (i.e. when the tree is not in leaf). Without supporting evidence we will be unlikely to grant consent for requested works on the basis of Ash Dieback.

More information on protected trees.

Replant and replace trees

Please encourage new trees of other native species to grow to help reduce the effects of Ash Dieback on Devon's landscape. Follow the 3:2:1 rule - at least 3 new trees for every large tree lost, 2 for every medium one and 1 for every small one.

Devon Ash Dieback Resilience Forum

Organisations, communities and individuals across Devon are joining forces to address ash dieback. The Devon Ash Dieback Resilience Forum website provides key information and advice relating to ash dieback in Devon.

We urge everyone to take action now to combat the safety and environmental impacts of this unstoppable disease.