Bid to spot tree killer

A Heanor tree surgeon is offering to check ash trees in the area for signs of ‘ash dieback’ free of charge - as concerns over the spread of the killer disease grow.

Ash dieback, a fungus which rots the large species has had a devastating effect in Denmark and is spreading rapidly across England.

Last week a report by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), showed evidence that it has now been found in 115 sites from Northumberland to Sussex and experts admit the spread of it may be impossible to halt.

Although it has spread to neighbouring Lincolnshire and Yorkshire - there is yet to be a confirmed case in Derbyshire.

Drew Patterson, who owns the tree surgeons Treehugger and Sons, said its firm is willing to inspect ash trees in the area if people are worried.

He said: “Currently we are checking every tree that we come across and we haven’t found an infected one yet.

“We are offering a free service to check. If you are concerned about your ash tree in any way, give us a call.”

More than 80 million trees countrywide could be affected by the spread of the fungus. Signs of infection include lesions on the branches.

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