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Ash dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus)

Ash dieback, also known as Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, is a devastating fungal disease that affects ash trees (Fraxinus species). It has been a significant concern in many parts of the world, particularly in Europe. Dealing with ash dieback requires a combination of management strategies and preventive measures to limit its impact. Here are some steps to deal with ash dieback:

  1. Early Detection:

    • Regularly inspect your ash trees for signs of infection. These may include wilting, brown or blackened leaves, dieback of branches, and the presence of diamond-shaped lesions on the bark.

  2. Pruning and Removal:

    • Mason Adams prune and remove infected branches and trees as soon as possible to prevent the spread of the disease. Dispose of infected material properly to avoid further contamination.

  3. Monitor:

    • Continuously monitor the health of your ash trees to identify new infections promptly. This can help you take action before the disease spreads further. We can offer routine inspections and report back to keep you informed of progression and general health of the tree

  4. Fungicide Treatment:

    • In some very rare cases, fungicide treatments may be an option to protect valuable ash trees. Consult with a certified arborist or horticulturist to determine if this is appropriate for your specific situation.

  5. Promote Tree Health:

    • Maintain overall tree health by providing proper care, such as regular watering, mulching, and fertilization. Healthy trees are better able to resist diseases.

  6. Diversify Plantings:

    • Avoid planting new ash trees, especially in areas heavily affected by ash dieback. Instead, consider diversifying your landscape with a variety of tree species to reduce the risk of future disease outbreaks.

  7. Biosecurity Measures:

    • Implement biosecurity measures to prevent the introduction and spread of the disease, especially if you have ash trees in multiple locations. Clean tools and equipment between tree care tasks, and avoid moving potentially infected wood.

  8. Seek Professional Advice:

    • If you're unsure about the severity of the disease or how to manage it effectively, consult with Mason Adams Arborist and Tree Surgeons, forest pathologist, or horticulturist. We can provide expert guidance tailored to your specific situation.

  9. Research and Education:

    • Stay informed about the latest research and management techniques related to ash dieback. Knowledge is a valuable tool in managing the disease.

If ash dieback is not yet established in your area, report any suspected cases to your local forestry or agricultural authorities. Early detection and containment efforts can be crucial in limiting its spread - we can help assess your case, email us at to discuss a plan and arrange an appointment.

Remember that ash dieback is a challenging disease to manage, and the best course of action may vary depending on the severity of the infection. It's essential to act swiftly and take preventive measures to protect ash trees while also considering long-term planning for a more diverse and resilient landscape.

What is a TPO?

A Tree Preservation Order (TPO), also known as a Tree Protection Order, is a legal designation made by a local planning authority (usually the local authority) to protect specific trees, groups of trees, or woodlands within their jurisdiction. The purpose of a TPO is to preserve and safeguard trees that are considered valuable to the community due to their aesthetic, ecological, historical, or cultural significance. Conservation areas have similar conditions on tree as a blanket order.


Here are some key points about Tree Preservation Orders:

  1. Authority: Local planning authorities are responsible for designating and enforcing Tree Preservation Orders. Each authority may have its own procedures and guidelines for TPOs.

  2. Types of Trees Covered: TPOs can cover individual trees, groups of trees, or entire woodlands. The trees covered by a TPO are typically specified in the order itself.

  3. Protection: Once a tree or group of trees is protected by a TPO, it is illegal to cut down, uproot, prune, or otherwise damage the trees without obtaining permission from the local planning authority. The authority will consider applications on a case-by-case basis.

  4. Application for Work: If you want to carry out work on a tree protected by a TPO, you must apply for permission from the local planning authority. This application is known as a "TPO application" or "tree works application."

  5. Considerations for Permission: When assessing applications for work on protected trees, the local authority considers factors such as the health and condition of the tree, the reasons for the proposed work, and the potential impact on the environment and the local community.

  6. Penalties: Unauthorized work on trees protected by a TPO can result in significant fines and legal consequences. It's crucial to seek permission and adhere to the conditions set by the local planning authority.

  7. Public Consultation: In some cases, the public may have an opportunity to comment on proposed TPOs or tree works applications. This can provide additional protection to valuable trees and ensure that community interests are considered.

  8. Appeals: If your application to carry out work on a protected tree is denied or if conditions are imposed that you disagree with, you may have the right to appeal the decision to a higher authority or tribunal.

  9. Duration: TPOs can be indefinite or have a specified duration. They can be revoked or varied by the local planning authority under certain circumstances.

  10. Enforcement: Local planning authorities have the power to enforce TPOs and take legal action against individuals or organizations that violate them.

If you are planning to have work carried out on a tree that you suspect is protected by a Tree Preservation Order, it's essential to contact your local planning authority or ask us to act as your agent to determine the status of the tree and obtain the necessary permissions. Failing to do so can result in legal consequences and fines. Additionally, consulting with a certified arborist or tree care professional can help ensure that any proposed work is carried out in a way that preserves the tree's health and value. Contact us at and we will go through the relivant details and help assess and apply for works.

When should I have my tree pruned?

Pruning trees is an essential part of tree maintenance to promote healthy growth, improve aesthetics, and manage potential hazards. However, the timing of tree pruning can vary depending on the specific goals and the type of tree you are dealing with. Here are some general guidelines for when to prune trees:

  1. Winter Pruning (Late Autumn to Early Spring):

    • Many deciduous trees (those that lose their leaves in the fall) can be pruned during their dormant season, which is typically in late autumn, winter, or early spring. Pruning during this time is less likely to stress the tree because it is not actively growing.

    • It's often a good time to perform structural pruning, remove dead or diseased branches, and conduct major shaping or size reduction. This timing minimizes the risk of disease transmission and encourages vigorous spring growth.

  2. Spring Pruning (Late Winter to Early Spring):

    • Some trees benefit from pruning just before or during the early stages of spring growth. This allows you to see the tree's structure more clearly and make pruning decisions based on the specific needs of the tree.

    • Flowering trees, such as cherry and dogwood, should be pruned immediately after they finish blooming in the spring to avoid cutting off next year's flower buds.

  3. Summer Pruning (Late Spring to Early Summer):

    • Summer is generally not the best time for heavy pruning, as the tree is actively growing. However, it can be suitable for light maintenance pruning, like removing water sprouts (vigorous upright shoots), or controlling branch growth.

  4. Fall Pruning (Late Summer to Early Autumn):

    • Pruning in the late summer or early autumn should be minimal and focused on removing dead or diseased branches or addressing immediate safety hazards.

    • Avoid heavy pruning during late summer and early fall, as it can stimulate new growth that may not have enough time to harden before winter, making the tree more vulnerable to cold temperatures.

  5. Pruning for Specific Purposes:

    • Some trees may have unique pruning requirements based on their species or individual characteristics. For example, evergreen trees like pines and spruces are typically pruned during the late winter or early spring.

    • Trees that produce sap, such as maples, are best pruned during late winter or early spring to minimize sap flow.

  6. Avoid Pruning During Extreme Weather:

    • Avoid pruning during periods of extreme heat, cold, or drought, as the tree may be stressed and less able to recover from pruning wounds.

Always keep in mind that the primary goal of pruning is to promote the long-term health and structure of the tree. When in doubt, consult with a Mason Adams so we can assess the tree's specific needs and provide professional guidance on the timing and extent of pruning. Proper pruning practices are essential to ensure the tree's well-being and reduce the risk of disease and stress.

Do I have Box tree Caterpillar?

The box tree caterpillar, scientifically known as "Cydalima perspectalis," is a pest that affects boxwood (Buxus) shrubs, which are commonly used in gardens and landscapes for hedging and topiary. The caterpillar is native to Asia and was first identified in Europe in the early 21st century.


Box tree caterpillars are known for their distinctive appearance. They have a greenish-yellow body with black longitudinal stripes and rows of small black spots. As they grow, they can reach lengths of up to 4 centimeters (about 1.5 inches).

These caterpillars feed voraciously on boxwood leaves, defoliating the shrubs and potentially causing severe damage or even death to the plants if not controlled. They are most active during the summer months.

Controlling box tree caterpillars typically involves a combination of methods, including manual removal, pruning affected areas, and the use of biological or chemical treatments. Gardeners and arborists often monitor boxwood plants for signs of infestation and take action to prevent or mitigate the damage caused by these pests

Damage to box tree:

Box tree caterpillar damage

How do Mason Adams dispose of waste?

Sustainable Arboriculture: Responsible Removal and Disposal of Green Waste

At Mason Adams Tree Surgery, our commitment to the environment goes hand in hand with our passion for tree care. As stewards of nature, we recognise the importance of minimising our ecological footprint, even in the process of green waste removal and disposal. Here's how we take an environmentally sympathetic approach to this essential aspect of arboriculture.

Green Waste: An Opportunity for Sustainability

Tree care generates green waste, including branches, leaves, and wood chips. Rather than viewing this waste as a burden, we see it as an opportunity to contribute positively to the environment. Our sustainable practices for green waste management include:

1. Recycling and Reusing:

  • We recycle and repurpose tree debris whenever possible. Wood chips and mulch created during the tree removal process can be reused for landscaping or as natural ground cover, reducing the need for chemical mulches.

2. Composting:

  • Leaves and smaller organic materials are composted to create nutrient-rich soil additives, contributing to healthy, thriving landscapes.

3. Responsible Disposal:

  • For materials that cannot be reused or composted, we ensure responsible disposal through licensed facilities that prioritize eco-friendly practices and adhere to environmental regulations.

4. Minimal Impact Chipping:

  • Our chipping equipment is designed to minimize noise pollution and fuel consumption while efficiently turning branches into manageable wood chips.

5. Carbon Footprint Reduction:

  • We take measures to reduce our carbon footprint during transportation, using fuel-efficient vehicles and minimizing unnecessary trips to disposal sites.


Preserving the Local Ecosystem

Beyond our recycling and composting efforts, we understand the importance of preserving the local ecosystem. We prioritize:

6. Habitat Preservation:

  • Our team carefully assesses trees for signs of wildlife habitat, ensuring that we do not disturb nesting birds or other creatures.

7. Biodiversity Enhancement:

  • Where appropriate, we recommend planting native species or creating wildlife-friendly spaces to promote biodiversity.

8. Eco-Friendly Practices:

  • Our arborists employ eco-friendly tree care practices that focus on preserving tree health, which, in turn, contributes to a more resilient and thriving ecosystem.

Community Education:

  • We are committed to educating our clients and the community about sustainable tree care practices, including the responsible management of green waste.


Our approach to green waste management reflects our dedication to sustainable arboriculture. By minimising waste, reusing materials, and contributing positively to the environment, we strive to leave a greener, healthier world for future generations.

If you have questions about our environmentally sympathetic tree care services or would like to learn more about how we prioritize sustainability, please don't hesitate to contact us

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