Dozens of ash trees at a Fife beauty spot are to be felled after an outbreak of disease.
The trees at Keil’s Den will be felled this month because of the chalara ash dieback disease, which has spread around the country.
There is no cure and it is thought that up to 90 per cent of Britain’s ash trees will die. The foliage of infected trees appears blackened and as the infection progresses cankers and lesions appear on the bark.
Infected trees can become hazardous when next to roads and paths. Branches are liable to drop, or whole trees fall over, often after secondary infections have taken hold in trees weakened by chalara.
George Anderson of Woodland Trust Scotland, said: “Unfortunately, chalara is now affecting most of the ash trees at Keil’s Den, with many trees in the wood suffering from between 60-90 per cent dieback. We have made the difficult decision that we now need to fell all ash trees with advanced dieback within falling distance of the road and paths. Felling trees is something we prefer to avoid but this is a question of public safety.
“We have marked a number of individual trees with blue crosses, but we also propose to fell the ash trees in two blocks. These are the triangular area north of the road bridge, and ash trees on the west side of the path going down to the middle bridge.”
Plans are being drawn up for a public event in 2020 when the affected areas will be replanted with native trees, not including ash. Some paths at Keil’s Den will need to be closed while felling takes place.