Denbighshire County Council has commenced this winter’s programme of ash dieback maintenance work.

The disease has spread across North Wales with the native ash tree (Fraxinus excelsior) particularly common in Denbighshire.

Many have been struck by the airborne fungus which causes ash dieback, leading to symptoms such as diminishing leaf cover, wilting leaves and bark lesions.

As the mortality of Ash trees following infection can be extremely high and with no known cure, the Council is carrying out work in high use areas for public safety reasons.

Recent works by experienced contractors with appropriate machinery have recently taken place at Rhuallt, near Llangollen and along the Nant Y Garth Pass A525, with works at Loggerheads Country Park ongoing.

Cllr Barry Mellor, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said: “We are working closely with our stakeholders to protect residents and visitors as well as the species and habitats associated with ash trees.

Staff have carried out risk assessments to ensure that we use our resources wisely and only take away ash trees that could ultimately cause harm or damage. For example, we have had an ecologist available as Clerk of Works at the Nanty Y Garth maintenance site.”

The Council is also informing private landowners, by letter, of ash dieback work needed on their land if their trees are in poor condition adjacent to the Highways.

As this necessary programme of work moves forward the Council will plant more trees, of alternative species, in suitable locations to reduce the impact on the landscape and biodiversity. Where possible, staff will also seek to retain habitat features through leaving standing deadwood or leaving felled trees on the ground.