Council to impose elm removal on private grounds

Edinburgh City Council has said it will enter private properties to remove elm trees identified as infected with Dutch elm disease and charge the costs to owners.

Image: Sigfrid Lundberg
Image: Sigfrid Lundberg

The council said in a new report that there had been a "significant increase" in the proportion of infected trees on private land since 2014, adding that of these, 73 had not been felled and so remained to spread infection.

It is now invoking powers under the Dutch Elm Disease (Local Authorities) Order 1984 to carry out the tree works if landowners fail to act within a given time limit.

The Scottish capital has managed to retain a population of almost 15,000 elms, but Dutch elm disease continues to encroach on the number. All elms are surveyed each summer, with those showing signs of the disease marked for removal.

The council report also warns that ash dieback "could affect the vast majority of Edinburgh's ash population, which is cautiously estimated to be about 37,000 trees".

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