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Ash dieback (chalara)

Ash dieback disease is caused by the fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, (formerly known as chalara). It has the potential to kill 95% of Norfolk's ash trees over the next 20 years. More information on ash dieback and managing the disease can be found on the Forest Research and Arboricultural Association websites. 

Information for tree owners

Tree owners have a legal duty of care and must maintain their trees in a reasonably safe condition.

Norfolk County Council is only responsible for trees growing on council property. This includes adopted highway verges.

In almost all cases, trees that are next to roads and Public Rights of Way are the responsibility of the neighbouring landowner.

Where a tree on private land poses a danger to the highway users, we may contact the landowner. We'll explain what work needs to be done and when the work should be completed by. The tree owner is responsible for the cost of the work.

For most landowners, the first step will be to contact a tree surgeon. The tree surgeon will be able to provide quotes for the work required and also advise on what traffic management will be needed while the work is carried out.

We maintain a list of local tree surgeons (PDF) [194KB] who have shown that they have the necessary skills, qualifications and insurances. Their work also meets current industry standards.

Tree works and traffic management

If you need to manage traffic while you carry out work on a tree, use these forms and guidance:

How we manage the disease

In 2016, we began a three-year project to look at how many ash trees are next to the county's roads and footpaths and what condition they are in.

Read the latest Environment Transport and Development committee report on the ash dieback project:

We have set up partnerships with the Forestry Commission, John Innes Research Centre, Tree Council, Suffolk County Council and the Woodland Trust to help with research into the disease, management and replanting.

The Food and Environment Research Agency help us to plan and analyse our ash dieback surveys. Using this evidence, we'll be able to predict the impact of ash dieback and use our resources more effectively to manage the disease.

Our tree safety management policy explains how we inspect and manage County Council-owned trees.

For further information email the Natural Environment Team at

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