The FUW Anglesey Office held an ‘open to all members’ webinar on 19 November to discuss Ash Dieback including a presentation from Jacob Milner, Ash Dieback Coordinator for Anglesey County Council.
Ash dieback is expected to affect / kill over 90% of the Ash trees in the UK. To put it into context, the Dutch Elm Disease during the 90's killed around 80 billion Elm trees, whereas Ash dieback has the potential to infect two billion Ash trees.
This will affect FUW members and all farmers across the UK as it is the landowners responsibility to cut down dying / dangerous trees which are on a public highway, and therefore pose a risk to the public. This also includes public footpaths.
The council, under the 1980's Highway Act, can serve a 154 notice which gives the landowner a 1 month window to do the work. If this occurs, it is advised to respond immediately, even if it is not possible to get the work done within the month. It must be taken into account that contractors are expected to be very busy with ash dieback work, and have limited availability. If they do not hear back from the landowner, the Council has the right to have the work carried out and send the invoice.
They are considered dangerous to climb if above a class three (>50% leaf loss). In this situation a Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) is recommended. It is important to emphasise that ash dieback can be very dangerous work. It is preferable to cut and trim the tree before it gets to a Class 3 danger level.