ADVICE about a killer tree disease should be given to Carmarthenshire landowners and the public as soon as possible, a councillor has said.

Cllr Mansel Charles made the call after being told at a meeting that ash dieback, which is expected to wipe out millions of ash trees across the UK, can’t be stopped.

Council officers told the environmental and public protection committee that colleagues had attended a seminar held by The Tree Council on ash dieback, and that highways officers would be looking out for affected trees.

Ash dieback is an airborne fungal disease which causes ash to lose their leaves and become brittle, potentially causing larger ones to topple over without warning.

An officer told the committee: “This is going to be as bad as Dutch elm disease.”

Cllr Charles said: “I think it’s imperative for the county council that advice, publicity and information is distributed as soon as possible.”

The committee was told that information about the disease would be added to the council’s website, and that a campaign to inform landowners of their responsibilities would be launched.

Swansea council has begun felling trees weakened by ash dieback and is advising landowners and the public to contact a trained arborist if they are concerned about trees on their property.

The Tree Council has warned that the disease could eventually kill most of the UK’s 150 million mature ash.

It was first identified in Europe in Poland in 1992 before making landfall in the UK 20 years later. It is suspected to have come from Asia originally.

A separate disease blighting larch has resulted in hundreds of thousands of trees being cut down in Wales in recent years.

And if you’ve notice the leaves of horse chestnut trees turning brown prematurely, it’s probably due to the larvae of a moth which has spread across England and Wales after being identified in London in 2002.

However, the larvae do not significantly impair the trees’ health.

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