Ash tree disease impacts West Sussex

Ash dieback (ADB) is a devastating disease that has the potential to kill over 95% of West Sussex ash trees over the next 10 – 20 years. As nearly 21% of all broadleaved trees in West Sussex are ash, this would have a major impact on the county’s landscape, wildlife and habitats.

Although there is no treatment, a small percentage of ash may be resistant to, or tolerant of, the infection. Survivors can be used for breeding tolerant ash trees for the future.

The County Council is working with district and borough councils, other organisations, and land owners to take a coordinated approach to mitigate potential health and safety risks. There is likely to be further selective felling of ash trees and reactive work this summer. Phase 2 of the highway survey for ash trees is also underway. This will help to prioritise inspections.

If you own woodland which contains ash you should be aware that:
• Markets for lower grade timber are available which may help reduce the cost of felling; and,
• There are grants available under Countryside Stewardship which can contribute towards the cost of restocking and ongoing management.
For further information on managing your woodland please contact your local Forestry Commission Woodland Officer:
Julian Williams (Chichester, Arun, Worthing, Adur, Horsham, Crawley) julian.williams@forestrycommission.gov.uk