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Safe Working During COVID 19

Ash die-back (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) continues to effect the region's Ash trees.

With the onset of bud burst many trees are starting to set their vibrant new growth leaf and add a touch of vitality and renewed energy to our surroundings.

Albeit somewhat later than more Easterly regions of the UK, the past couple of years have shown the increasingly observable impact of Ash die-back in the trees of SE Cornwall.

Owners of Ash trees, whether garden, woodland or roadside should be taking a keen interest in the health and vitality of their trees - Ash die-back is a fast acting pathogen which rapidly infects and significantly degrades a tree's structural integrity. Early indicators of infection are heralded by reduced vitality, uniformity and density of leaf formation in the canopy. After infection is established, the tree is likely to rapidly decline resulting in complete dysfunction (deadwood) within a short period.

Ash is notoriously 'snappy' and can present significant challenge when selecting safe anchor points for climbing and load bearing lowering points for rigging. Once the tree has suffered the effect of Ash die-back this hazard can be multiplied to such a degree that the tree could be deemed unsafe for climbing and dismantling.

With the many competing challenges of time and financial resources tree owners are often inclined to defer tree works in favour of other tasks which may be more immediate. Often a completely understandable situation.

The effect of Ash die-back however is rapid and it makes no allowance for 'other factors' competing for tree owners' attention, neither is the duty of care held by tree owners necessarily mitigated by financial or other pressures.

In a nutshell: