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.
For more information on ash dieback, including how to recognise the disease, visit the Forestry Commission website.
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 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:
- Notice of works on the road, with guidance
- If you need to close a road, you’ll need a temporary traffic order
- Permission to place portable light signals on the highway online form
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.
- Our ash dieback percentage guide shows how we assess the level of ash dieback.
- Download a map showing trees surveyed in 2016 and 2017
Read the latest Environment Transport and Development committee report on the ash dieback project:
- Ash Dieback Project update
- Appendix 1 - Letter to Central Government and Norfolk MPs
- Appendix 2 - Defra response Ash Dieback Disease 18 May 2017
- Appendix 4 - Resume of Ash Dieback Disease
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.