Woodland management


Ash tree dieback

Chalara dieback of ash is a serious disease of ash trees caused by a fungus called Chalara fraxinea (C. fraxinea). The disease causes leaf loss and crown dieback in affected trees, and it can lead to tree death.

The New Forest National Park Authority is fully supportive of the Forestry Commission and the role of Government organisations in managing the outbreak of Chalara fraxinea. We have offered our services to help with surveys and to help get information out to local communities. National Park Chief Executive Alison Barnes, also attended a Defra summit in 2012 hosted by Environment Secretary Owen Paterson MP. Defra published an action plan on 9 November 2012.

Latest advice from the Forestry Commission to visitors

The risk of visitors spreading the disease is very small and we are not closing forests or advising owners of infected sites to do so.

We do ask that if you are visiting an infected or suspected wood, please take some simple precautions:

  • do not remove any plant material (firewood, sticks, leaves or cuttings) from the woodland
  • where possible, before leaving the woodland, clean soil, mud, leaves and other plant material from footwear, clothing, dogs, horses, the wheels and tyres of bicycles, baby buggies, carriages and other vehicles, and remove any leaves which are sticking to your car
  • before visiting other countryside sites, parks, garden centres and nurseries, thoroughly wash footwear, wheels and tyres in soapy water
  • follow the instructions on any signs.

If you are unsure whether a wood is infected, or suspected of being infected, it is always good practice to follow the advice above.

Chalara advisory signs for woodland visitors

These advisory signs are available as downloadable files from the Forestry Commission website.

For more information about the disease visit the Forestry Commission’s website. It also includes a question and answer section.

For more information on what the Government is doing visit the Defra website and read about the Interim Chalara Control Plan.

Please help disseminate this information and note that at this point in time all enquiries need to be directed to the Forestry Commission.

  1. Introduction
  2. Creating woodlands
  3. Introduction to coppicing
  4. How to coppice
  5. Pollarding introduction
  6. How to pollard
  7. Ash tree dieback (you are here)
  8. Grown in Britain


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