What ash dieback is, what we’re doing about ash trees in our parks and streets, what you need to do if you have ash trees on your land.

What ash dieback is 

Ash dieback: 

  • is a fungal disease affecting common ash trees
  • is causing widespread decline of ash trees across the UK and Europe
  • is spread from fungal spores carried by the wind, so very little can be done to prevent further spread

Read about ash dieback on GOV.UK. 

Most parts of the UK are experiencing ash dieback, including Bristol. The disease was first noted here in 2019. We know it has become widespread in the South West.

Infected trees can become weaker and there’s an increased risk of falling branches or trees. 

Other tree diseases can also take hold and have a further impact. 

What we're doing about ash dieback

We need to understand: 

  • where trees in our parks and in our streets are infected
  • where the public could potentially be at increased risk of harm

We’re carrying out an extensive audit of ash trees on our land, to understand: 

  • where ash trees exist
  • to what degree ash trees are affected
  • the rate of decline

We’re developing a plan to manage the disease and its impacts.  

Advice for landowners

You should check if you have any ash trees on your property. The Woodland Trust Go to https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/a-z-of-british-trees/ash/ (opens new window) provides information on how to do this.

If you have ash trees on your property in Bristol, it’s likely: 

  • they’re affected by ash dieback already 
  • they’ll be affected by ash dieback in the near future

You’re not required by law to remove ash trees affected by ash dieback, unless they pose a risk to others. As a landowner, you may be held responsible if your trees fall and cause damage or injury.

Getting your trees inspected

Depending on the size of your property, the number of trees and proximity to roads and footpaths, you may wish to have your trees inspected by an expert.

The Arboriculture Association Go to https://www.trees.org.uk/Find-a-professional (opens new window) gives advice on choosing a professional. You should follow their advice and keep records of any inspections and works completed.

If you’re advised to remove a tree, you should check whether the tree is:

Email development.management@bristol.gov.uk for more information.

Find further guidance for land and tree owners and a leaflet about managing ash dieback Go to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/managing-ash-dieback-in-england#tree-safety (opens new window) on GOV.UK.