More than 1,000 trees facing the axe across Wakefield district because of ash dieback disease

Around half of Wakefield's ash trees are thought to be diseased and risk injuring members of the public if they're not axed, a report has said.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 4:45 pm

More than 1,000 trees across the district are facing the chop because of ash dieback disease.

A small survey carried out last year by the local council revealed that 50 per cent of trees had the condition, which is spreading across the UK.

The ailment gradually kills the tree and in the meantime increases the risk of branches falling off, potentially putting passers-by in danger.

Ash dieback disease is spreading across the UK.
Ash dieback disease is spreading across the UK.

The council has now revealed plans to cut down those affected and plant new ones to compensate.

A report going before senior members of the authority next week said that failure to respond to the disease, "Would create potential financial and legal risks resulting from personal injury claims caused by damage or injury from tree/branch failure.

"The unmanaged loss of trees would also cause potential reputational risk to the council."

The report said there are around 2,500 ash trees across the local area.

Speaking ahead of next week's meeting, the council's deputy leader Jack Hemingway said: "Sadly, the disease will inevitably result in irrecoverable damage to tree health and, over time, many ash trees will unfortunately need to be removed.

"The safety of our residents must come first and we need to be more regularly inspecting and managing these trees to reduce the risk of damage or injury.

"We are committed to replacing all trees removed, as close to the location of tree loss as possible, and be of suitable species for the location."

Local Democracy Reporting Service