Ipswich: Borough keeps watch over thousands of trees as ash disease spreads

THERE are more than 14,000 ash trees in the town – but there has so far been no sign of the deadly disease that threatens to destroy huge numbers of the species.

The spread of chalara fraxinea to the UK from mainland Europe has put organisations such as the Forestry Commission and the Woodland Trust on full alert as fears grow that millions of ash trees could be destroyed.

Ipswich council tree expert Andy Whalley said: “Despite growing incidents in Suffolk, Ipswich remains clear for now. But we are aware of the danger and we are monitoring the situation in our parks and open spaces.

“We have more than 600 individual specimens on our land and perhaps another 13,500 in woodland groups and we recognise the importance of the ash and, of course, our other valuable trees in our urban landscape.”

The public can also help, said Mr Whalley. “Visitors to our parks can help our staff by keeping their eyes open and looking out for symptoms of die-back.

“A special app for mobile phones has been produced but anyone can call us on 01473 432512 to report a diseased ash tree.”