RESIDENTS in Carmarthenshire have been provided advice in relation to ash dieback on trees that they may own.

Carmarthenshire County Council has said that ash dieback will be a feature of the landscape and it is important that anyone who owns a tree affected with it is aware of the legal responsibilities.

The council stressed that it is the responsibility of the owner of the tree.

The council is also focusing on the trees that pose a risk to people and property including trees within falling distance of roads and pavements, areas used by the public and buildings. Trees and hedges alongside roads are normally part of the adjacent landholding and therefore the responsibility of the landowner.

Any trees showing more than 50 per cent dieback in their crowns and pose a risk should be considered to be felled. It is easy to spot trees that have had this for a long period of time as they have a distinctive form with a lack of small twigs, low density of foliage in the summer and large areas of deadwood.

The council surveys ash trees growing along the A and B roads every summer. During this survey, they note the ones that show significant signs of the disease and that pose a threat to highway safety.

In the summer of 2023, more than 4,000 trees were noted. The vast majority are under the ownership of private landowners and many of these have begun to organise the felling of their trees. The council will be able to use powers given under the Highway Act to request landowners fell dead and dangerous trees if action is not proactively taken.

The trees should be felled by a professional tree surgeon with appropriate equipment – which usually requires the use of an elevated platform – due to the diseased trees becoming brittle.

The trees should be felled in the winter. It is only necessary to remove the part of the tree that could fall on the road or public area or cause damage to a property. Sometimes the lower sections of the tree can be left standing which will provide a home for wildlife. The use of an elevated platform can make this possible.

Cllr Ann Davies, the council’s cabinet member for rural affairs and planning policy, said: “It’s important that landowners are aware of their legal requirement to ensure that trees on their land are maintained to a safe standard and do not pose a risk to the public.

“You can consult an arborist if you are unsure about the health of a tree on your land but, as a county council, we would always advise that landowners use an accredited tree surgeon to fell a tree to ensure that it is done to the highest safety and professional standards.”

Landowners are encouraged to plant replacement trees elsewhere on their land to make up for the loss of ash trees. The council’s woodland office can provide free advice on this, just email For more information about ash dieback, visit