Guidance for homeowners and those with ash trees on their land

Our new guidance, Ash Dieback: a Guide for Tree Owners, helps tree owners to address any safety risks posed by ash dieback, while helping to reduce the ecological impact of this damaging tree disease.

Anyone with a tree on their land has a legal responsibility to ensure that risk posed by the tree is kept within appropriate limits, particularly if they are next to a busy road, public pathway or community grounds.

Identifying ash trees, assessing their condition and taking action to manage the risks

The new guidance will help homeowners and land managers who have ash trees on their land understand their options for managing affected ash trees, while at the same time minimising the ecological impact caused by the highly damaging tree disease, which is likely to infect up to 80% of UK ash trees.

The guidance provides simple steps to:

  • help identify ash trees on private land
  • assess their condition on a simple scale of 1 – 4
  • consider tree management options if ash dieback disease is suspected

Helping ensure the survival of the next generation of ash trees

It also describes how tree owners can help the next generation of ash trees survive, through retaining trees where it is safe to do so. Ash trees provides valuable habitats for over 1,000 wildlife species. This makes the small proportion of ash trees that are expected to be tolerant to the disease, crucial to the future of ash trees in the UK. If felling is necessary, then trunks/branches can be left as deadwood to continue offering benefits as a wildlife habitat.

The Ash Dieback: a Guide for Tree Owners guidance is published by The Tree Council, Defra and the Forestry Commission.

front page of ash dieback a guide for tree owners