Trading Standards clamp down on rogue traders, while the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) advises not to fell mature trees affected by the ash disease. Ash dieback: 35 cases in Kent alone.
Ash dieback has drawn cowboy tree surgeons out of the woodwork to try and scaremonger homeowners into having their trees felled, Trading Standards' officers have warned.
Recent cases of the disease in the South East prompted rogue traders to knock on doors and offer to chop down trees they claim have the disease. In December alone, there were 35 confirmed cases of the fungal disease in Kent.
The cold callers say the trees need to be felled, but private owners have no obligation to take action. Trading Standards said the county council became involved after a resident reported being approached.
Arboricultural Association technical officer Simon Richmond said: "Defra and the Forestry Commission advise not to fell mature trees; the illness does not make them dangerous and the best way of researching the disease is to have as many trees standing."
Finding qualified and reputable Tree Surgeons The Arboricultural Association, a national body for amenity tree care, operates an accredited contractor's scheme for tree surgery businesses ("ARB Approved Contractor") where professionals can be found who will offer good advice and good service thereby avoiding the "rogues" (see www.trees.org.uk "Find a Tree Surgeon").