A campaigning councillor has warned that ash trees could be wiped out by a deadly disease. Cllr Alan Quinn has raised concerns over ash trees in Prestwich being infected by ash dieback disease – also known as Chalara.
He wants to plant trees throughout the town to compensate for any losses to the disease, which causes leaf loss and trees to weaken.
Cllr Quinn said: “There are one million trees under threat, Chalara is a serious threat to our tree stock.
“We need to make people aware, I want to be planting more trees in our community to make up for any losses to this disease. We need to make sure people don’t panic and start cutting any ash trees down. We don’t need to do that.
“I don’t want people in 20, 30, 40 years saying why didn’t you do anything about it.
“It’s important we realise this disease is infecting our trees and we start planting more.”
The first signs of Chalara in Britain were found in a nursery in Buckinghamshire in February 2012. The disease has potential to cause significant damage to the UK’s ash population.
Matt Elliot, Woodland Trust tree health specialist said: “We would agree wholeheartedly that planting trees is a sensible measure, in particular a more diverse range of native trees which have been grown in the UK from locally sourced seed.
“This will help reduce the risk of further pests and diseases being imported on plant material.
“Ash trees are just one of a number of native tree species and habitats threatened. We would encourage anyone who cares about the environment to find out more about these threats and how to identify and report them.”