Very sadly the ash trees in this country are being attacked by the disease ‘Ash Dieback’, and the Southwest’s ash trees have not, and are not, escaping. Unfortunately, the disease is fairly prevalent in the Skaigh Woods and action has been taken by Belstone Parish Council, who are Trustees for part of Skaigh Woods, to have the affected trees felled. Contractors with be in the wood on November 4th and 5th to do this work.
The symptoms of the disease are dead, blackened leaves – veins and stalks turning brown – branches low down on the tree often die – the canopy itself can become sparse and leaves tend to fall earlier than perhaps is normal. Ash trees so affected should be watched very carefully to see if the disease progresses. Mature trees can sometimes recover, but younger ones are far more vulnerable and will probably succumb.
Should anybody have an ash tree(s) on their property, it would be sensible to have it/them surveyed by an arborist if the disease is at all suspected. Advice will be given as to whether the tree might survive or whether it should be felled due to its dangerous state.
The Common Land in Belstone (village side of all moor gates) is owned by the Lord of the Manor, Michael Reddaway. He is responsible for all trees and bushes on Common Land. Belstone Parish Council has requested that all ash trees on the Inner Commons be surveyed on a regular basis as a Duty of Care to all people, residents and visitors alike. So, should anybody notice an ash tree looking rather sickly, it would be advisable to contact Michael Reddaway – either direct on 01837 840465, or through the Belstone Commoners’ Association secretary, Jenny Gibbons either by email email@example.com or telephone 01837 840282.
Joint Chairman to Belstone Parish Council
Further information on Ash dieback can be found at https://treecouncil.org.uk/science-and-research/ash-dieback/public-guidance/ or https://www.devonashdieback.org.uk/