The Arboricultural Service consists of specialised officers known as Arboriculturists. They are responsible for the management of thousands of trees in our parks and open spaces, over 12,000 street trees across the city and they assist with the management of over 500 hectares of woodland in and around Brighton & Hove.
If your enquiry isn't answered on our web pages, or you have an emergency involving a tree please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on (01273) 292929. Our out-of-hours emergency telephone number is (01273) 292229.
Storm damage and the tree pruning schedule
The recent stormy weather we've encountered since October 2013 and winter 2014 have led to us prioritising hazardous trees and other issues caused by the bad weather. This has had a knock on effect, reducing the number of street trees pruned and delaying pre-scheduled and proactive works by approximately 12 months.
Brighton and Hove has an estimated collection of some 12,000 street trees which receive health and safety inspections every 3-4 years. Checks for Elm disease and dead trees are carried out on an annual basis and promptly acted upon by the City Parks tree team to help prevent Elm beetle infestations and subsequent infections.
Highway trees are subject to statutory work which requires the removal of obstructions such as the clearance of basal growths and low branches to allow for the free passage of pedestrians and vehicles.
What is Ash Dieback and how to spot it
Ash Dieback is a fungal disease (Chalara fraxinea) that affects Ash trees; the symptoms are early leaf loss and crown dieback which can lead to the death of the tree. Common Ash is the third most prevalent woodland species in the United Kingdom. They are present in high numbers throughout the city’s 504 hectares of woodlands. There are few highway Ash trees, some exist in Park and Open spaces and where these are prominent their loss would create a significant impact upon the local visual amenity of the area.
The symptoms first become visible during early June when the leaves are first emerging; these show themselves as wilting and dark discoloration on the leaves with elongated lesions developing on the smaller branches. Eventually the whole crown will become infected with a characteristic ‘crown die-back’ developing over the next few years.
The Council is aware of the disease and where its presence is detected it will be reported to the Forestry Commission. Because of the inevitable spread of the disease and nature of spore dispersal throughout the southern regions, measures to curb its spread cannot realistically be achieved. Therefore the stance the Council presently takes to control Elm disease by sanitation felling is not appropriate. Only where ash trees become a danger will they act to reduce the risk of falling parts to cause injury or damage to persons and property. Where appropriate the Council intends to replace purposely planted trees as replacement with others that are resistant or of a different species.
Method of spread
The mode of spread is via spores caught in the wind from tiny mushrooms born from the main leaf stalk and has the ability to spread within a ten mile radius within 1 year. Over longer distances the risk of disease spread is most likely to be through the movement of diseased ash plants and foliage. Movement of logs or unsawn wood from infected trees is currently considered to be a low risk of disease spread. Thorough composting, burying or burning infected parts of Ash are considered appropriate methods to destroy infected material and may slow the progression of disease.
Further information on the disease can be found here
Hope for the future
There are common Ash trees found to be resistant within disease infected areas. The Forestry Commission and other interested parties intend to identify and propagate from these as part of a natural succession towards repopulating the Ash back into areas which have been decimated.