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Ash Dieback has been reported for three sites in the National Forest. The disease has been found on trees that are five years old as well as on older specimens of around seventeen years. The National Forest Company is managing this on advice from the Forestry Commission. While it is likely that the disease will have spread to other parts of the National Forest the Forestry Commission has recommended that no direct action is taken as spores will continue to spread even if trees are felled. Infected sites will instead be monitored to identify any symptom-free trees that may prove resistant.

Catherine Graham-Harrison, Chair of the National Forest Company said:

“Ash is a significant tree in the Forest, probably around 15-20% of all the trees we have, but in The National Forest we have always planted mixed species woodlands which make them more resilient when diseases like this affect one species …. We are only half-way through the forest’s creation. Whilst the loss of some of its ash trees will be a big blow, we still have the opportunity to add many more new woodlands to the landscape with other species in the future.”

Tree and Woodland MD Andrew Bowman-Shaw is a strong advocate of planting mixed woodland to support greater sustainability and believes we will see a move away from single species planting as we learn from threats such as Chalara Fraxinea. In the meantime, Tree and Woodland have removed plantings of young Ash stock and replaced these with other species.

A consultation has been launched on proposed changes to the Common Agricultural Policy. This will shape the future of farming, the rural economy and the natural environment in England from 2015 onwards and covers the following:

Protecting the natural environment. 

Views are invited on a new environmental land management scheme which will replace the existing environmental stewardship schemes and will cover forestry. 

Responses are also invited on proposals for benefiting wildlife and improving natural landscapes.

Improving farm competitiveness and making things simpler. Views are also sought on how the Common Agricultural Policy can be implemented in England with minimal burdens and how it can support businesses to become less reliant on subsidies.

Protecting pollinators. 

The consultation explores options for the Common Agricultural Policy to do more for pollinators, including shaping the new environmental controls that are part of direct payments, voluntary action under the Campaign for the Farm Environment and the new environmental land management scheme.

Growing the rural economy. 

The consultation sets out the potential to grow the rural economy through business grants and investment in rural tourism.

The consultation closes on November 28th, Responses can be made:

Online at https://consult.defra.gov.uk/communications/cap-consultation 

Via email to capconsultation@defra.gsi.gov.uk  

By post to CAP Consultation, Area 1D, Defra, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, SW1P 3JR


First mounted in 1975, National Tree Week is the UK’s largest tree celebration launching the start of the winter tree planting season. Each year a multitude of events are set up volunteers, local authorities, schools, and community groups inspiring over a quarter of a million people to get their hands dirty and plant around a million trees. 

Click here http://www.treecouncil.org.uk/community-action/events-map to find out what events are happening near you.

And remember you don’t have to wait for an official event to get planting yourself.


Tree and Woodland Managing Director Andrew Bowman-Shaw is attending the Arboricultural Association’s National Amenity Arboriculture Conference this week. The conference features speakers and delegates from across the world looking at a range of themes. Andrew’s area of interest this year will be tree risk management with a full day session focused on the subject, including sessions on ISA’s new Best Management Practices and Quantified Tree Risk Assessment.

Andrew says:

“In our industry it is vital to be completely up to date with all the latest developments and best practices. I’m looking forward to a fantastic event with plenty of food for thought and some great opportunities to discuss the key issues we face with other professionals”.


A project to to develop a UK integrated Tree Health Early Warning System has been awarded just under £1 million by the LIFE, the EU’s financial instrument that supports environmental policy and nature conservation projects. The ObservaTree partnership (Forest Research, Forestry Commission, Fera, the Woodland Trust and the National Trust) aims to identify tree health problems earlier and to harmonise knowledge and communications within a single system and has received strong support from the government Tree Health and Biosecurity Action Plan and funding from Defra.

The intention is to enable the public and voluntary bodies to report incidents and help identify tree health problems earlier. A trained body of volunteer Tree Health Champions will be recruited from a wide spectrum of backgrounds – from ordinary citizens to those already working in forestry, horticulture and arboriculture. These will support Forest Research scientists by acting as a first line of response, filtering and checking reports of tree pests and diseases sent in by the public from their localities. Forestry Commission plant health service head Dr John Morgan said: “… bringing together all the main actors in one project will help policy teams and practitioners to collaborate on tree health matters across the borders of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It will also enable them to link up with other EU states and organisations who can share valuable knowledge about tree health threats with the UK.” The project will build a library to share information on the greatest pest and disease risks that could feed into the risk register recommended in the Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Taskforce Report. The project is expected to get underway early in 2014 with preparatory and engagement work undertaken over the next few months. For more information and contacts go to www.forestry.gov.uk/fr/observatree.


A new project has been launched aiming to map every tree in Britain using an online database where members of the public can input tree information. Treezilla collects information from the public on individual trees, including tree species and stem diameter. Once details of a tree have been entered, it estimates the monetary value of the ecosystem the tree provides, including carbon dioxide capture, reduction of flood risk, reducing energy use from buildings and improving air quality. This differs according to location, size and species, and the aim is to create an extensive data set offering a much more accurate picture of the benefits from trees across the UK.

Treezilla is part of the OpenScience Laboratory, an initiative of The Open University and The Wolfson Foundation, developed in partnership with Forest Research and Treeconomics. It is free and open to everyone to use as individuals or local groups. Large inventories of tree data already held by local authorities and institutions can also be uploaded. 

Jonathan Silvertown, Professor of Ecology at The Open University, said: 

“We know there are 3.8 billion trees in forests and woodlands and another 123 million elsewhere in the countryside, but no overall estimate exists of the number of urban trees, or trees on private estates. Treezilla will help us to get a more accurate picture of 

this important resource.”

Tony Hutchings, who leads Forest Research’s Land Regeneration and Urban Greenspace 

research programme, explains: “Treezilla provides an excellent resource to use citizen 

science to help map and unravel the true value of urban trees. Over the next few years we 

will be improving the science behind the system so that we can predict how to maintain 

healthy, sustainable and valuable tree populations within the UK’s towns and cities.”

For more information or to log data about trees please visit the Treezilla website. http://www.treezilla.org/


Results from the Woodland Trust’s You Gov survey have highlighted a worrying lack of public knowledge about trees. The survey showed that almost half of UK adults could not identify a leaf from Britain’s most iconic British tree, the Oak, while only two out of ten adults could identify an Ash leaf. 

With the public being urged to look out for signs of Ash Dieback and Britain’s Oaks at risk from Acute Oak Decline this lack of knowledge could hamper attempts to limit the spread of pests and diseases. The UK is currently plagued by fifteen tree diseases and five more could be on their way. Austin Brady, head of conservation at the Woodland Trust, said: 

“We are relying on people to report the signs of disease and pests in their local woods, so if more people were able to identify common trees like ash and oak, it would make tracking the spread easier. We are calling for increased education on native trees and disease identification before it’s too late. We need to learn about and love trees and woods or we risk losing them.”

If you fancy testing or improving your knowledge of trees visit the Woodland Trust’s website, www.loveitorloseit.org.uk where you can also share your favourite tree memories.


Woodland Trust report urges Councils to invest in tree cover.

A report published by the Woodland Trust this month urges councils to invest in their natural environment and their tree cover in particular.

‘Healthy Trees, Healthy Places” notes economic difficulties, resource constraints, severe weather events and social trends and argues that the natural environment can play a key role in reinvigorating localities and benefiting public health, often reducing overall costs. 

The report gives special focus to trees and outlines the following benefits of tree cover:

• Urban tree cover provides economic advantages – a report to the Mersey Forest showed that for every £1 invested in the Forest’s programme, £10.20 was generated in increased Gross Value Added (GVA), social cost savings and other benefits.

• Trees and urban green space improves the environment and encourages healthy 

lifestyles, improving public health.

• Mitigation of the urban heat island effect – trees provide shade from direct solar radiation and reduce ambient air temperature through evaporative cooling.

• Well-designed tree planting can improve air quality. Researchers found asthma rates among children aged four and five fell by a quarter for every additional 343 trees per square kilometre.

• Trees in rural and urban areas can help in reducing the risk of flooding – preliminary results from Manchester University indicate that tree canopies can reduce surface water runoff by as much as 80% compared to asphalt.

• Trees and green spaces can help in improving water quality.

• Woodland can prove a cheaper land use to maintain than amenity grassland.

It  urges councils to take a strategic approach to maintaining and increasing tree cover as part of green infrastructure.

• identify where tree cover can contribute to economic regeneration, improved public health, reduction of flood risk and support for biodiversity. 

• Adopt access standards to ensure everyone has access to green space such that no person should live more than 500m from at least one area of accessible woodland 

At least 2 hectares in size and 4 km of woodland 20 hectares in size. 

• Encourage public participation in the planning and management of trees, woods and other open green space to validate the importance of green space, generate opportunities for community care for nature and give proper regard to local community interests.

Individuals are also encouraged to play their part:

• Taking an active interest in the development of local plans and making their voices heard. 

• Protecting local trees and woodland from development. 

• Planting more trees individually or collectively to increase woodland cover. 

• Ensuring local councillors understand the importance of trees and woodland to the community.

The report can be downloaded here.



Development and nature can go hand in hand, according to a new report published by an alliance of conservationists and planning experts.

Planning Naturally has been produced by the RSPB, the RTPI (Royal Town Planning Institute) and CIEEM (Chartered Institute of Ecology And Environmental Management) and will be launched at the RTPI Planning Convention on 11 July 2013.

The document – and a workshop being held at the event – aim to show how nature is integral to every part of the planning process. Using 12 principles of good spatial planning backed by examples from across the UK and further afield it lays out how we can achieve growth in housing, infrastructure and industry without damaging the habitats which support our threatened species.

The report highlights examples including ambitious plans for the protection of 10,000 square km of central Scotland, the largest wetland creation project in Europe at Wallasea Island in Essex and a wide variety of plans published in recent years by local authorities around the UK.

Further afield examples of inspiring planning include a specialist environmental court in Vermont, US which oversees matters of environmental justice, and plans to safeguard one of Kenya’s most important wildlife sites, the Tana River Delta, also home to thousands of indigenous tribes people with high levels of poverty.

Mike Clarke, Chief Executive, RSPB, said: “The recent State of Nature report published by 25 leading wildlife groups showed that 60 per cent of our native species are in decline.

“Urbanisation and loss of habitat is a significant factor in the decline of wildlife. But the planning sector has moved a long way in recent years and we now have many positive examples of plans and projects which have been designed with nature in mind.

“What we have tried to do in Planning Naturally is bring together this experience in order to inspire local authority planners, consultants, developers and ecologists and show them what can be done. “

Richard Blyth, RTPI Head of Policy Practice & Research commented: “Often planning is portrayed as a zero-sum game in which one objective can be pursued at the expense of others. We do not believe this needs to be the case and this publication shows how.”

John Box, CIEEM President, added: “Three things are needed in the UK to deliver our share of the EU Biodiversity Strategy target of halting the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services by 2020.

First, we need a vision, and mechanisms to deliver it. This must be based on the principles of John Lawton’s Making Space for Nature report which sets out the future as being networks for biodiversity. Second, we need people to deliver the vision, including professional ecologists and environmental managers. Third, we need to work with developers to find more effective and innovative ways of conserving and enhancing biodiversity”.

Download the full press release here >>

- See more at: http://www.cieem.net/news/120/launch-of-planning-naturally-publication#sthash.eELLOfNA.dpuf


The Arboriculture Asociation’s Technical Officer, Paul Smith has told industry professionals attending the recent ARB Show that it is vital they keep abreast of tree pests and diseases.

Speaking at a special advice session he told his audience that those working with trees must be able to correctly identify diseases such as ash dieback and Ceratocystis platani, and pests such as emerald ash borer and pine processionary moth, and give correct advice. He reminded those attending that not all infestations are harmful and stressed the importance of keeping abreast of what was happening in the local area by talking to people and checking disease distribution maps. He urged practitioners to be alert to the possibility of multiple agents affecting trees and to be clear about which agents, such as fireblight, were reportable.

Mr. Smith also suggested that it would be useful to have a standard template on which to record each diagnosis and recommendation for action, supported by evidence and references.


A new City of London Corporation report has argued that tree diseases could seriously damage London’s green spaces unless the City’s tree stock is diversified.

‘Tree Diseases in London: The Economic, Social and Environmental Impact’ claims that more strategic planning and management of London’s tree stock is needed to increase the resilience of the green infrastructure. The report found that London’s tree stock is dominated by a small number of species with 45% represented by five species – planes, limes, maples, cherries and hornbeams. This lack of diversity means new diseases and pests could have a catastrophic effect on the overall tree population.

The City of London Corporation owns and manages almost 11,000 acres of open space, including Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest and Burnham Beeches. In February this year it hosted a conference on London’s tree health, focussing on ash dieback, massaria and oak processionary moth.

The report can be downloaded athttp://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/business/economic-research-and-information/research-publications/Pages/Tree-diseases-in-London.aspx


The Forestry Commission has issued an alert to people living in parts of London and Berkshire asking them to ‘be vigilant’ for caterpillars of the Oak Processionary Moth as they emerge between now and June. Together with Public Health England and the local authorities they are warning people not to touch the caterpillars and to keep children, pets and livestock away from them and their nests. 

The caterpillars are a tree pest because they damage oak trees by feeding on the leaves but pose a risk to human and animal health because they have tiny, toxin-containing hairs which can cause itchy skin rashes, eye and throat irritations and can trigger asthma attacks. The hairs can be blown on the wind and are also left in the web-like nests found in oak trees. The larvae leave the nests and feed on oak leaves, stripping each tree bare before moving to the next, following one another in a procession, hence their name. The caterpillars pose the greatest risk from now until July, although nests should not be approached at any time.

The Forestry Commission is working with local authorities and land managers to tackle the outbreaks and is appealing to the public to alert them to any sightings. Members of the public must not attempt to remove the nests or touch the caterpillars as protective clothing and masks need to be worn and the timing of removal is important.

Any sightings should be reported to the Forestry Commission using their online form at http://www.forestry.gov.uk/treealert or using their dedicated app available from https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/tree-alert/id582936354?mt=8

Look out for:

Caterpillars in or near oak trees. There is an identification guide on the Forestry Commission website which will assist.

Web-like nests in oak trees or on the ground nearby. The white nests are the size of a tennis ball and contain hundreds or caterpillars each about two-inches long. Nests should be reported even if there are no caterpillars as they still contain the irritating hairs.

Check the tree species: The OPM caterpillar is usually only found in oak trees and will only live in and feed off other species of oaks are scarce.

Do not:

Observe the movement: OPM caterpillars have a distinctive habit, moving in nose-to-tail processions and clustering together. 

Touch or approach nests or caterpillars

Let children touch or approach nests or caterpillars

Let animals touch or approach nests or caterpillars

Try removing nests or caterpillars yourself – call an expert


Seek medical advice if you think you or someone you care for has been seriously affected

See a vet if you think your pet or livestock has been seriously affected

Call in a pest control expert to remove infestations in your own trees

Report sightings of OPM to your Local Council or the Forestry Commission.


Expert warns over paucity of tree data

By Jez Abbott Friday, 26 April 2013

Poor urban tree data could lead to negative impacts on budgets and biosecurity, respected urban forestry expert warns.

Lack of basic survey work on urban trees could have damaging implications for budgets and the fight against ash dieback, one of Britain’s most respected urban forestry experts warned last week.

Dr Mark Johnston, who wrote the landmark Trees in Towns II report, told the PlantNetwork Urban Public Gardens Conference that the sector is dogged by poor data collection and lack of acknowledgement by the Government and landscape architects of the wider value of trees.

He said that when he wrote his report it was delayed by the Government and then published in electronic format only. He ended up self-publishing the book.

He found only 16 per cent of authorities had done a full survey of all their highway trees, while 30 per cent had not conducted any survey.

“Only 19 per cent have an accurate record of the percentage of their district covered by trees and woodland, yet that’s the basis of any tree strategy,” said the research fellow at Myerscough College. “How can you go forward if you don’t know where you are now?”

Lack of firm data has biosecurity implications, he said. We do not know what percentage of the urban forest includes ash and whether the trees are Fraxinus excelsior or the various cultivars “because we haven’t done the basic survey work”.

But he said a few councils are trailblazers. Torbay Council used i-Tree software to work out that its urban forest cover is 11.8 per cent and that it absorbs 50 tonnes of pollution a year. But the killer statistic is how much the urban forest is worth: a total of £280m.

“These figures are very useful. Budgets are under increasing pressure and tree officers are losing their jobs up and down the country. If you can say our urban forest has a value of £280m and then someone proposes a budget cut of £50,000 you have a powerful tool.

“You can work out how much that will devalue the urban forest, say £15m, and ask: ‘What’s the sense of that?'” said Johnston.


The Forestry Commission has published a new guidance document highlighting how the UK forestry standard can be used by planners in England when making decisions involving woodlands and forests. UKFS for Planners summarises legislation affecting trees and woodlands, clarifies the role of the Forestry Commission and local Planning Authorities and sets standards for woodland management/creation established within planning agreements.

The document is available at:



DEFRA has published an updated version of its interim Chalara Control Plan first published in December 2012. The new publication updates actions taken to date and outlines future action and research plans. 

The report acknowledges that Chalara cannot realistically be eradicated but outlines plans to help adapt and build economic and environmental resilience in the face of the disease. These focus long-term on establishing more resistant populations of ash trees and helping woodlands adapt, and shorter term on cost-effective actions to reduce the rate of spread and support land owners, managers and nurseries mitigate impact.

The plan indicates that support will be available for replanting with alternative species and removal/disposal of recently-planted infected ash trees in high priority areas for those projects originally funded under the England Woodland Grant Scheme. Defra also plans to explore whether there is capacity in the Higher Level Environmental Stewardship Scheme to do the same and will provide an update on this at the end of April.

The report can be viewed at:



HRH the Princess Royal has planted the 6 millionth tree as part of the Woodland Trust’s Jubilee Woods project. The project was the largest tree planting campaign ever undertaken by the Woodland Trust and has created more than 12,000 acres of new woodland, including a 460 acre Diamond Wood in the National Forest, 60 additional woods each of at least 60 acres and 400 Jubilee Woods of at least 1 acre each. 

Many of the woods planted either joined existing woods to create larger areas of woodland or helped connect smaller woods, extending habitats and making it easier for species to travel. 

In addition to creating woodland areas over 3,500 communities planted copses and hedges to commemorate the Jubilee and over 40,000 schools planted tree packs provided by the Trust, creating valuable habitats and spaces for people to enjoy. 

At 13% cover the UK is one of Europe’s least wooded countries and the Woodland Trust aims to double the amount of woodland by 2050. The Jubilee Woods project has made significant steps to achieving this but the Trust’s will continue to work towards its 2050 target, made even more pressing by the threats of pests and diseases such as Ash Dieback.


A major new report commissioned by Confor has highlighted the importance of government support for the private forestry sector in responding to disease. The report studies the potential impact of Chalara fraxinea (ash dieback) and Dothistroma (Needle blight or DNB) and makes a number of recommendations to reduce tree disease threats and damage. In particular, the report concludes that government should work with the private sector to better protect trees in non-state ownership (estimated as 97% of woodland Ash and 61% of Corsican, Lodgepole and Scots Pine). The report summarises actions which could be taken by the government working with the private sector to better protect the rural economy and public benefits. 

Confor’s chief executive Stuart Goodall said: “This is a vital piece of work. The Forestry Commission will be able to work through tree removal, destruction and replacement with costs underpinned by the public purse. The private sector, however, is faced with having to pay for these costs, and, in nearly all cases, these will outweigh any income that is received. With the aim of protecting the commercial and broader benefits that pine and ash provide, the report provides a reference document to enable informed and constructive discussions to take place with governments at the UK and devolved country levels.”

The report is available at: http://www.confor.org.uk/Upload/Documents/30_ConforFINALChalaraDothistromareportFeb13.pdf


A major new report commissioned by Confor has highlighted the importance of government support for the private forestry sector in responding to disease. The report studies the potential impact of Chalara fraxinea (ash dieback) and Dothistroma (Needle blight or DNB) and makes a number of recommendations to reduce tree disease threats and damage. In particular, the report concludes that government should work with the private sector to better protect trees in non-state ownership (estimated as 97% of woodland Ash and 61% of Corsican, Lodgepole and Scots Pine). The report summarises actions which could be taken by the government working with the private sector to better protect the rural economy and public benefits. 

Confor’s chief executive Stuart Goodall said: “This is a vital piece of work. The Forestry Commission will be able to work through tree removal, destruction and replacement with costs underpinned by the public purse. The private sector, however, is faced with having to pay for these costs, and, in nearly all cases, these will outweigh any income that is received. With the aim of protecting the commercial and broader benefits that pine and ash provide, the report provides a reference document to enable informed and constructive discussions to take place with governments at the UK and devolved country levels.”

The report is available at: http://www.confor.org.uk/Upload/Documents/30_ConforFINALChalaraDothistromareportFeb13.pdf


The Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) has introduced statutory import notifications in England for Oak (Quercus spp.), Sweet Chestnut (Castanea spp.) and Plane (Platanus spp.) following the recent Chalara fraxinea crisis in Ash trees.

Unlike Ash the pests affecting these species are regulated under the EU Plant Health Directive but the notification requirement aims to: raise awareness about the threats to these species; provide intelligence about the level of trade; and facilitate tracing in the event of problems. It will also enable FERA and the Forestry Commission to carry out checks and identify if further protective measures, are needed. 

All Oak, Sweet Chestnut, Plane and Ash being imported into England from outside the EU or from another EU Member State and Switzerland must be notified. This should be done via the PEACH system for material imported from outside the EU (including Switzerland for ash trees) or using the eDomero system for material introduced from another EU Member State (including Switzerland for oak, sweet chestnut and plane trees)

PEACH: http://www.fera.defra.gov.uk/plants/plantHealth/documents/importsPeachFileUploadApr11.ppt

EDOMERO: http://edomero.defra.gov.uk

A copy of FERA’s letter outlining the requirement can be found at: http://www.fera.defra.gov.uk/plants/plantHealth/documents/defraTradeLetterTreeImports0113.pdf


A new strategy for tackling Ash dieback has been published by the Environment Secretary Owen Paterson. The strategy, together with the interim report by the Tree and Plant Health Task Force can be accessed at http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2012/12/06/government-strategy-ash-dieback/.


Some brief guidance on biosecurity.

 In the light of the ash dieback outbreak it is worth reminding ourselves of the actions and biosecurity measures the Forestry Commission recommend we take when moving around the countryside.

Be informed and vigilant: Be aware of symptoms and frequently inspect ash trees in your care – in particular any which have been planted during the past 5 years. There is good information on the Forestry commission websitehttp://www.forestry.gov.uk/chalara

If you see it, report it:  If you suspect Chalara dieback report it to the Forestry Commission or Fera

Practice good biosecurity control: Below are some simple measures to take to reduce the spread of plant disease including ash dieback.  We should make these part of everyday practice.

1. Plan your visit: It is good practice to discuss the visit with the occupier or manager beforehand to identify constraints/restrictions/additional controls.

2. Ensure all your equipment is clean and serviceable

3. Restrict the equipment taken onto the premises: Only take what you need.

4. Do not take vehicles further into the site than necessary: Leave at designated car parking areas.

5. If cleansing and disinfection is likely carry the necessary equipment: We suggest:

 Propellar disinfectant or another approved disinfectant

 Plastic storage box

Supply of clean water (approx 5L) 

Boot tray or bucket

Hard brush

Yachting flare container for Propellar (this is vapour proof and helps comply with the propellar data sheet/risk assessment for flammable products)

Eye protection

Protective gloves 

Hand sanitiser / wipes and paper towels

Selection of re-sealable bags (for samples)

Plastic bags and ties (so that clothing/PPE can be taken offsite for cleaning or disposal) 

Low risk level: This is the minimum level to be practiced when entering any land or premises where there are no suspected tree pests present.

Ensure footwear is clean prior to the visit (visually free from loose soil and plant debris).

If necessary brush or wash in soapy water before the visit. Make use of any facilities provided at the premises to clean footwear if required by the site manager

Ensure that vehicles are cleaned regularly to remove any accumulated mud, especially from wheels and wheel arches

Keep vehicular access to a minimum: do not enter areas unnecessarily and where practicable, keep to established hard tracks

Respect any notices or instructions.

High risk level: This should be applied before entering a woodland or a nursery/premises where a damaging tree pest is known or suspected to be present and there is a risk of spreading the pest further.

Clean and disinfect footwear.  Propellar is a recommended disinfectant available from Evans chemical supplies. Tel: 01209 213 643. Clean off mud and debris. Once clean, spray the boot/sole or equipment with disinfectant solution until it runs off. It has the advantage of evaporating quickly and does not pose a high level of risk to water courses. It may therefore be used as a good general purpose disinfectant.

Some disinfectants can be harmful particularly if inhaled or if they come into contact with skin and you should wear appropriate protective equipment such as gloves and eye protection when making up the disinfectant mixture. Propellar is ready diluted in a spray container and is simple to apply.

Clean and disinfect tools, particularly cutting equipment such as secateurs or knives after each time they are used and before moving on to the next plant or tree.

If vehicles have entered an area where a damaging tree pest is known or suspected to be present, and have been taken off hard roads, ensure that the tyres and wheel arches are adequately cleaned and disinfected well away from drains and water courses and before leaving the site.

Ash Dieback (Chalara fraxinea)

The team at Tree and Woodland has been monitoring the current situation regarding Ash Dieback. Chalara dieback of ash is a serious disease of ash trees caused by a fungus called Chalara fraxinea (C. fraxinea). It causes leaf loss and crown dieback and can lead to tree death. The infection was found in a consignment of trees imported from a European nursery earlier this year. It has since been found in a number of locations which had received stocks of young ash plants within the last five years. Further cases have been confirmed in the nursery trade and in October FERA scientists confirmed a small number of cases in East Anglia in ash trees which do not appear to be associated with recently supplied nursery stock. Experts are currently surveying sites across the country to ascertain the extent of the infection and are due to report to the government this Wednesday.

C. fraxinea is being treated as a quarantine pest under national emergency measures. Owners and managers of woods are being urged to be vigilant and to report suspected cases immediately.

What should owners/managers of ash trees do?

Check trees and act quickly – Inspect ash trees frequently, especially any planted during the last five years.  Ensure you are familiar with the symptoms of Chalara dieback.

Report suspicious symptoms straight away

Buy carefully – Only buy new ash trees from reputable suppliers and specify disease-free stock. Do not purchase from countries where C. fraxinea is known to be present. Currently these are: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia and Switzerland.

Practice good plant hygiene and biosecurity – The Forestry Commissions ‘Biosecurity Guidance’ document outlines best practice thttp://www.forestry.gov.uk/pestsanddiseases.

Keep up to date – The Forestry Commission website is the best starting point for information:www.forestry.gov.uk/chalara. See also www.twitter.com/treepestnews and follow to receive updates quickly.

Symptoms to look for

   Forestry Commission and FERA videos are available at: 



Forestry Commission guides are also available at:




If you are in any doubt seek advice

What to do if you think you have the disease

If you think your ash trees have the disease you should report it to one of the following

Fera: 01904 465625;  planthealth.info@fera.gsi.gov.uk

Forestry Commission: 0131 314 6414;  plant.health@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

It has been confirmed that DEFRA has found Chalara Fraxinea in a batch tested from a nursery in Rugby. Further tests are now being carried out and investigations are underway to find out whether the tree was grown in the UK or imported. It is not yet known how many trees were infected or whether these were planted on site or sold.

Further details available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-20218519

The BBC has a good Q&A section on Ash Dieback on its science and environment web pages:


See our post on 5th November for advice to owners, managers and users on how to protect our trees.

The Forestry Commission has found Phytophthora ramorum in larch trees in South East England. This highly destructive tree disease was first discovered in 2009 and since then more than 3 million UK larch trees have been felled. Following arial surveys, the Forestry Commission has now confirmed that  the disease has been traced in woodland in West Sussex and Surrey. 

Phytophthora ramorum is not harmful to children or animals but is potentially very damaging for trees. The European Commission regulates P. ramorum as a ‘quarantine’ organism which means its presence on trees or woodland plants must be notified to the relevant authorities (Forestry Commission, Fera, Welsh Government, Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture & Rural Development).

The Forestry Commission is urging owners of woodland in the South East to inspect trees and rhodedendrons (which can produce spores which spread the disease) and report anything suspicious.

For further details about what to look for and support available from the Forestry Commission please go to http://www.forestry.gov.uk/pramorum


This week the Forestry Commission published guidance on a range of simple ‘biosecurity’ measures which will help protect Britain’s trees, woods and forests from damaging pests and diseases which pose a serious threat to our native woodland trees.

Following the devastating affects of Dutch elm disease the countryside is now dealing with Phytophthora ramorum, Phytophthora kernoviae, acute oak decline, bacterial bleeding canker, and conifer root rot, to name just a few. Pests such as the Asian Longhorn Beetle, the Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner and the Oak Processionary Moth are also causing sever damage.

The guidance is available at www.forestry.gov.uk/pestsanddiseases and outlines simple actions we can all take against these and other threats to ensure we protect our precious national treescape.


Three recently published reports have brought trees into the spotlight, highlighting their value and the importance of managing our tree stock. Together the reports emphasise the vital role trees play in our urban landscapes and argue the importance of planned maintenance and care.

There has been a move in recent years towards planting smaller tree species in urban areas. However, a report into the ‘Green Benefits in Victoria Business Improvement District’, sponsored by, among others, the Mayor of London, calculates that trees and greenery in that area contribute to the removal of 1.2 tonnes of pollutants each year, soak up 18 tonnes of carbon and utilise well over 100,000 tonnes of water which would otherwise go into storm drains. They estimate that without the tree canopy (much of which is created by larger species) the microclimate in central London could rise by 5 degrees centigrade.

Many of the trees in the Business Improvement District are on private land such as squares and require support for landowners and cooperation with local authorities and developers. The other two reports focus on the need for cooperation and planning to care for these valuable assets. ‘Trees in the Townscape’ puts forward 12 key principals that form a step by step guide for major landowners caring for trees. Similarly ‘Neighbourhoods Green’ a report largely put together by the Housing Federation, suggests a tree management toolkit to assist social housing providers when developing a tree strategy.

All three reports highlight the vital role trees play in our communities and in the urban living environment, and stress the need for sound planning and understanding of tree stock. 

Andrew Bowman-Shawsaid

“We welcome this focus on the value of our urban trees and the importance of caring for them. Trees are a living resource which needs to be understood, cared for and maintained not only to enable them to contribute fully to our urban environments as habitats and in relation to climate, but also to manage risk and liability. Sound tree mapping and condition assessments are needed if these are not already in place, as is a regular and well planned system of aftercare and maintenance.”

The reports can be found at:





It is estimated that the UK’s trees account for as much as 80% of all northern Europe’s ancient trees and some of our oak and yew trees are over a thousand years old. The Woodland Trust’s national tree database records these ancient, veteran and notable trees, mapping our unique tree heritage and hopefully better protecting them from increasing threats from development, poor management and illegal felling.

So how do we categorize notable trees?

There are three categories of trees: ancient trees are those of a great age which are important biologically, culturally and also on aesthetic grounds; veteran trees have reached maturity and provide vital habitats for wildlife and fauna; and notable trees are those that have a local or personal significance or are rare species, particularly fine specimens of species, or maturing trees which with care will become veteran trees of the future.

Andrew Bowman-Shaw of Tree and Woodland is passionate about our trees.

“Our significant trees are a vital part of our national heritage and can be found in urban as well as countryside settings. Our work with local authorities, developers, and landowners helps them to identify key trees and find out how best to preserve them and the habitats they create.”

For more information on our ancient and important trees or to add a tree to the database visit http://www.ancient-tree-hunt.org.uk/project/hunt


The Woodland Trust has argued that England’s tree planting figures are critically low following release of the most recent Forestry Commissions statistics. England has just 10% of woodland cover compared to 44% on average in Europe and there is no planting target set for the country as a whole. At the same time an Independent panel on Forestry has stressed that we need to value our woodlands for the benefits they provide for people, nature and the economy and have urged for a major tree planting project to be undertaken. 

Tree and Woodland MD, Andrew Bowman-Shaw comments:

“Our trees and woodlands are a precious resource for so many reasons. It is vitally important that we manage them well, not just through new planting, but also through care of our ancient and mature woodlands and protection of our native trees. This is fundamental to our philosophy here at Tree and Woodland and we work with both public and private landowners to achieve this”.


This week Andrew Bowman Shaw is attending a training course on changes to BS 3889 - the industry standard for tree work, and the Arboricultural Association’s Approved Contractor Scheme. He’ll also be catching up with updates on horse chestnut leaf miner and oak processionary moth.


The Tree and Woodland Company’s Green Door Events team had great fun with Year 5 children from Napton’s  St. Lawrence School on their woodland activity day. T&W helped the children develop teamwork and woodcraft skills and hopefully develop a love of our wonderful native woodlands. It was fantastic to see so many children growing in confidence as they learned to explore the great outdoors.


The Tree and Woodland Company have a new member of the team. Lucy Rumble has joined us to work on marketing and after a few weeks ‘settling in’ we’re looking forward to keeping everyone informed about what we’re up to.

Andrew Bowman Shaw attended training sessions given by the Arboricultural Association on the revision to BS5837 and the new TPO regulations. These were delivered by speakers who had both played an integral role in guiding the changes and proved very useful in understanding the thinking behind the recent revisions.

Louise Bowman-Shaw and Catherine Griffiths from Tree and Woodland had a fantastic day at Chelsea with our sister company The Landscape Agency, whose show garden received a Silver Gilt Medal. The RBC Blue Water Garden is a modern interpretation of a ‘paradise garden’, a type of garden developed in warm climates to celebrate the hugely precious resource of water. The garden captures every drop of rain water and diverts excess into bioswales and collecting pools, which become beautiful features. We were really impressed with the way Dr. Nigel Dunnett had incorporated rainwater management and biodiversity into a formal garden design to stunning effect.

The National Tree Safety Group’s common sense guide to Tree Safety and the Public has recently been released. It is very relevant to anyone responsible for trees in areas of public access. 

Andrew Bowman-Shaw has read through the guidance and commented…

The NTSG’s guidance provides a balanced and logical approach to managing the risk of harm posed by trees. It clarifies the responsibilities of landowners with respect to their trees, and how the concept of reasonableness applies when putting these responsibilities into practice”.

The link below will take you to a good outline of the document and to the document itself if you want to read more.


The BSI have released an updated British standard for tree recommendations. The new BS 3998:2010 provides updated guidance for best practise in the arboriculture industry. This British Standard supersedes BS 3998:1989 which has been withdrawn. 

TWC have been working alongside The Landscape Agency to deliver arboriculture works at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Round 1 of these works has now been completed on time, for the enjoyment of the general public this spring.

We had a great evening with clients at The Farmers Club, London earlier this month.  It was a great opportunity for clients and practitioners to mingle and chat and catch up with different areas of the industry.

Tony Kirkham then gave a very entertaining talk regaling us all with his tales of collecting seed from all over the world.  We all learnt a lot and suffered varying degrees of ‘job envy’!  Tony is heading off shortly on another trip to Japan – conditions permitting.

The Forestry Commission report thatPhytophora lateralis has been found for the first time in Britain on Lawson’s cypress, the pathogen which is particularly virulent can affect other species including Pacific yew.

Levels of grant funding by the Forestry Commission under the Rural Development Plan for England (RDPE) are not to alter for the remainder of this spending round (March 2014). WrestParkland £2 million lottery grant for tree and landscape restoration The Tree and Woodland Company is very pleased to have helped English Heritage win this excellent grant for restoring the landscape at Wrest Park and wish them every success with the project.
We have recently compiled tree and woodland management plans for Woburn and Sonning golf courses. The implementation of the plans is now underway. Green keepers are going to play a critical role in this implementation. They are clearly on the course every day and with training could be critical in helping to carry out the regular checks that are needed to ensure that young trees are correctly managed and problems within older trees are recognised early. With training this is a role that the Green keepers could easily carry out.

Japanese larch is now a receptor for Phytophthora ramorum (SOD) across the UK, emergency funding to assist with infected trees has been made available by the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA); application for which can be made via the Forestry Commission.

The TWC alongside TLA have been involved with the joint delivery of tree and woodland works to enhance the historic landscape at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Round 1 of the work is expected to complete by spring 2011.

The Royal Forestry Society has invited Andrew Bowman-Shaw – MD of TWC – to talk at their regional meeting in Yorkshire.  The meeting is being held at Dalton Estate and Andrew will be discussing the Historical Management Plan that The Tree and Woodland Company have prepared for the estate.

Catherine Smith will be attending ‘The Forest Health Day’ run by the Forestry Commission.  If there are any particular points of interest she will report back on the news page. 

We have Poppy Stockport with us this week on work experience.  Having just finished A Levels she is applying to Uni for next year. She will be looking at the website later in the week so there will no doubt be changes!

Andrew will be at the Arboricultural Association’s 45th National Amenity Arboricultural Conference which is being held at Warwick University (18th – 20th September). He will report back on anything of interest – watch this space!!

Andrew Bowman-Shaw attended the Arboricultural Asociation’s Annual Amenity Arb Conference this week.    A good conference with more people there than last year.  A good range of talks. 

A major theme was the increasing bio-security threats that our trees and woodland are facing from abroad.  This is an important issue which needs to be brought to the attention of the public and the media at large.  Good to see that ‘The One Show’ featured a piece about the threat to our much loved horse chestnut trees from  the leaf miner ( Cameraria ohridella).  This is just one of the pests and diseases challenging our trees at present.  The threat from pests and diseases coming in from abroad is on the rise.  Action is needed.

We have moved offices to a great new premises in Southam, Warwickshire. We remain in a central location to cover the whole of the UK. 

Andrew Bowman-Shawattended last Fridays CLA Game Fair at Blenheim Palace and reports that he felt a ‘good general feeling of steady market strengthening, whilst wandering around the sites many stands and trade events as well as liaising with clients’.

Andrew Bowman-Shawwill be attending various events at this year’s CLA Game Fair at Blenheim Palace on the 23rd of July 2011. He will be on the showground from 7:30am until 7:30pm so please don’t hesitate to say hello and ask him about any arboriculture queries you may have.

Invitations are on there way to Landscape Architecture firms across the UK as TWC plans to present a series of complimentary CPD session at offices around Britain. The aim of the sessions is to bring the elements of Landscape Architecture and Arboriculture closer together for the benefit of both.

A great day at Chelsea yesterday. A fabulous tree display from Hilliers Nurseries with huge 20 year old Quercus robur on display ready for transportation. The Laurent-Perrier garden captivated particularly with interesting specimens of multistemmed Parrotia ( Persian ironwood) taking centre stage amongst a sea of subtle yet stunning planting. Apparently there are only 11 of the 35 year old Parrotias in the world. So it was a treat to see them at Chelsea. 

A general hum of chat about the challenges this very dry spring has posed to newly planted trees all over the country. Although everyone was enjoying the day in perfect summer sunshine, we all want RAIN!

Andrew Bowman-ShawMD for TWC can be spotted this week at RHS Chelsea Flower show. Andrew is pleased to congratulate Patrick James and his team at our sister company The Landscape Agency on there silver-gilt winning ‘RBC New Wild Garden’ deigned by Nigel Dunett.

A exciting new ‘woodland bog garden’ project has begun at Ferniehirst Castle. The creation of the garden has seen input from TWC on the interface between the garden and forest, with particular guidance being given on the design overview and management of the woodland.

We are pleased to announce that Fenton Estate have appointed The Tree and Woodland Company to produce a Parkland Management Plan to best understand and mintain the historic estate for the future.

The planning stage has begun to restore a series of island on Intake Pool at Melbourne Hall. The work carried out by TWC will see the restoration of the fantastic long views across the pool through the woodland to the far side of the water.

The survey and analysis stage of works at Hargley Hall is now complete, work now begins on management recommendations . The parkland restoration project has been led by Askew Nelson with arborcultural elements being undetaken by TWC.

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