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Tree Warden Scheme

The Tree Warden Scheme is a national initiative run by the Tree Council to enable people to play an active role in conserving and enhancing local trees and woods. Working through and on behalf of its member organisations, the Tree Council aims to create an awareness of the value of trees, the need for more trees, and their better management. It uses every opportunity to inform people about trees, to alert them to national tree problems and to seek solutions.

The Tree Warden Scheme in our area is run by the district council.  Local tree wardens work with the council on a voluntary basis.  Tree wardens are appointed to gather information, to give advice, and to encourage practical projects relating to trees in the community.

Since the scheme launched in 1990 around 7,500 tree wardens have been appointed.  They have a vital role in advising on planting species, practical maintenance and notifying their local council of trees under threat.

In West Hill many trees have Tree Preservation Orders (T.P.O’s) on them. Individual trees or whole areas may have preservation orders on them. Anyone can check whether a T.P.O. is in force by contacting the Tree Officer at E.D.D.C.

If a T.P.O. exists and maintenance is required, permission must be obtained from the council.  Application forms are available from E.D.D.C.   Working on a protected tree without permission (apart from removing dead branches) is an offence and can lead to a fine up to £20,000

We in West Hill are fortunate to have two areas of amenity woodland for walkers to enjoy. Firstly, the National Trust property at Prickly Pear at the top of Bendarroch Road; and secondly the Woodland Trust land between Higher and Lower Broad Oak roads.

Disease Threats

Disease is an ever present threat to our trees, such as Chalara dieback of Ash trees – caused by Chalara fraxinea fungus.  The chief signs are die back and lesions centred on dead side shoots.

Another is:

 Acute Oak Decline  AOD is a new disease which started some 20 - 30 years ago.
It is considered a threat to long term health and survival of native oak species.
It is spread by 2 bacteria and one insect species. At present it is in the Midlands and Welsh Borders.
Mature trees are most affected
Symptoms to look for: 
1/ Weeping patches of dark fluid visible on oak stems
 2/ Cracks in the outer bark from which fluid weeps
 3/ Irregularly oval shaped lesions in the inner bark , and cavities behind outer bark around seepage point
Aerial mode of dispersal
Prompt removal and destruction of the bark affected.
Exercise caution over moving firewood to locations where AOD is not present. Avoid moving firewood from symptomatic trees

Suspected cases should be reported to the Forestry Commission Plant Health Service

Tel. 0131 314 6414 or email

West Hill Tree Warden – Eileen Perkins Tel  01404815915