Tree disease not thought to have hit Barking and Dagenham

A disease threatening to wipe out the majority of Britain’s ash trees is not thought to have spread to Barking and Dagenham.

The fungal disease, Chalara ash dieback, has killed up to 90 per cent of ash trees in some areas of Denmark and has now been found in Britain - with one expert warning it could wipe out 19 out of every 20 ash trees.

Barking and Dagenham senior conservation ranger Gareth Winn said he has not yet heard of any cases in the borough.

He added: “I thought we had it at the Beam Parklands about two months ago, but a Food and Environment Research Agency inspector checked the site and in his view the newly planted ash were suffering from waterlogged conditions following the exceptionally wet summer and not the dieback disease.

“He took samples for further analysis which confirmed his suspicion.”

Mr Winn said the ranger service would continue to check for the disease on all the countryside sites across Barking and Dagenham.