Trees are of vital importance to the East Devon landscape and make a positive contribution to the character of the countryside and our towns and villages. By enriching our surroundings and creating a more aesthetic living environment, trees are instrumental in enhancing quality of life. Apart from their visual amenity value, trees provide shade, help to absorb noise and provide a habitat for wildlife. The more general environmental benefits of trees include the filtering of air borne pollutants and the net production of oxygen.

The District of East Devon is well blessed in terms of its rural and urban tree cover. The majority of Devon hedgerows and banks contain large, prominent specimens which have either been permitted to mature unhindered or have been subject to the ancient practice of pollarding in order to provide timber and fodder. There are some notable ancient trees within the District which are of particular importance in terms of their ecological, aesthetic and cultural value.

There are also a great many woodlands and forests dispersed throughout the district. Some are relatively newly created, having been planted purely for the production of timber, whilst others are classified as ancient woodland, providing a specialised habitat that supports a diverse range of wildlife.

People come to East Devon largely for its beautiful, wooded environment. You could be one of the more fortunate people to own one or more important trees.

Chalara dieback of ash (Chalara fraxinea)

The Forestry Commission publishes the latest update on Chalara fraxinea (Ash Dieback).

Currently over 60% of the Ordnance Survey 10km squares covering East Devon contain confirmed infection sites (1st Feb 2018).

Although the risk of spreading Chalara on clothes and boots is low there are many other current or future pests and diseases which have the potential to damage our landscapes and environment. You should comply with 'Biosecurity' advice on any signs at affected sites to avoid accidentally spreading the disease on your boots, clothes, dog, bicycle tyres, etc.

More information on specific tree pests and diseases can be found on Devon County Council website.

To identify a tree pest or disease see the Guide to tree pests and diseases by tree species.