Silk Wood panels audio description - Chalara ash dieback at Westonbirt Arboretum

Photo shows someone holding two ash leaves. The one of the left has seven green leaflets that form the overall leaf. The one on the right is a similar form leaf but is brown and wilted, which is a clear indication of ash dieback disease.

Chalara ash dieback

Chalara ash dieback was identified here in 2015 as part of our continuous tree monitoring programme. This is a disease which has been sweeping across Europe since 1992 that kills ash species.

In 2021 major felling took place to remove infected ash trees to reduce the spread of the infection and ensure the safety of visitors. After clearance works the area was left fallow, to allow the soil to recover.

In autumn 2023 we launched our Silk Wood Community Planting Project! This three-year project will lead to the replanting of 5-hectares of ancient, semi-natural woodland in Silk Wood.

Fundraising has enabled the project launch and we will continue to seek funds over the three years. Why not become a Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum member to support conservation and community work on site?

Find out more at

Working with Forest Research, we are learning how to fight back against Chalara ash dieback and finding ways to prevent the loss of ash trees. This ongoing research is shared with woodland managers in the UK and overseas.