Your options for dealing with a Chalara infection

Beneficiaries of our Staffordshire arb training contemplating how to address a Chalara-affected area have several options, depending on the exact location and nature of the infection.

The preferred option is generally burning on site, either on the ground or in mobile incinerators brought to site, the latter likely to be chosen due to their practicality for dealing with a large volume of leaves. Those considering this option are urged to check the relevant legislation on smoke control areas, in addition to taking into account the possible smoke nuisance risk.

Alternatively, one may bury infected leaves in the grounds of their premises. Although ground burial can be done by both private individuals and local authorities, in the latter case, it would constitute a landfill operation requiring an environmental permit, in accordance with the Landfill Directive.

Other possible approaches are less proven in their efficacy. This could certainly be said of composting on site, the lack of scientific evidence for its effectiveness meaning that any arborist training recipients contemplating it are advised to spread any resulting compost on or near the infected source wherever possible. This is as opposed to passing the compost onto third parties who may transport it elsewhere and thereby risk the spread of infection.

Another less preferred option is off-site incineration or landfill. We would always advise against the movement of infected ash leaves for purposes other than destruction. Even if leaves from affected areas cannot be dealt with on-site, secure containment of the transported waste – whether by placing it in enclosed containers or bagging – is necessary. Any transportation of leaves for incineration should also be for the shortest possible distance.

Nor would we recommend off-site composting and other biological treatment, given the uncertainty surrounding the right conditions for destroying the Chalara fraxinea fungus. Any potential residual risk can, however, be minimised if the resultant compost is only used locally.

If an area is not infected at all – and the distribution of Chalara’s spread is by no means even throughout the country – there is no need to remove the leaves, they instead able to be left where they fall.

Talk to Ian Morgan Arb today about arb training in Staffordshire that will educate you on the full range of means for addressing any Chalara infection of your vegetation.

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