Ash dieback (Chalara fraxinea)

What is Ash dieback?

Ash dieback is a disease caused by a fungus called Chalara fraxinea. The disease causes leaf loss and crown dieback in affected trees, and it may lead to tree death particularly in younger trees.

How to identify and report ash dieback

Ash dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) also called Chalara, has now been confirmed in Surrey and is spreading. Ash is a very common tree in Surrey and is important for wildlife and for wood products. A Plant Health Order introduced in 2012 prohibits all imports of ash seeds, plants and trees, as well as all internal movement of ash seeds, plants and trees.

The Forestry Commission website has information on what the government and other groups are doing to reduce the risk of spread and confirmed sites are shown on a map.

To help you spot symptoms of the disease and report suspected sightings, visit the Forestry Commission's guide.

Ash dieback on Surrey's Countryside Estate

Ash dieback has been found on four sites on Surrey's Countryside Estate during 2018, these are Sheepleas, Shere Woodlands, Norbury Park and Littlefield Common in Worplesdon. Surrey Wildlife Trust are proposing to start work on these four areas this winter to remove infected trees which could be a health and safety hazard on and around the public paths on those sites. Please refer to Surrey Wildlife Trust webpages for further information.

Report a suspected case of ash dieback

All suspected cases should be reported directly to the Forestry Commission using the online reporting form on their website.

Advice for woodland managers and countryside workers

The Forestry Commission has guidance on biosecurity measures to help prevent spreading diseases.

Advice for countryside visitors and householders

The risk of spreading the disease by visiting a forested area is very low, but you can help by following the advice to forest visitors from the Forestry Commission. Householders with ash trees on, or overhanging, their property should dispose of leaves or prunings in their normal general rubbish bin for collection.