A tree expert from Brighton and Hove has spoken about the threat to rare elms from people buying diseased logs.
Brighton and Hove City Council said that its arboriculture team was asking residents to be vigilant when buying logs for burning as it continued its fight against elm disease.
Brighton and Hove is home to the national elm collection which is under constant threat from the voracious disease spread by the elm bark beetle.
The beetle lays its eggs beneath the bark of unhealthy trees.
The arboriculture team’s efforts to curb the spread of the disease have won international acclaim but infections, linked to elm tree logs, continue to occur.
The council’s arboricultural manager Ian Brewster said: “It is imperative for the survival of the internationally recognised National Elm Collection that residents take responsibility for their actions when purchasing logs.
“If in doubt, always ask the log merchant beforehand what species of wood they sell.
“If elm is mentioned then don’t take them. If you suspect elm logs are in the delivered bags or are loosely piled then please inform our team immediately.”
The council said: “Even healthy fresh cut elm wood can attract the elm bark beetle and many thousands of pounds are spent by the council each year in disease control.
“This cost could be significantly reduced if the public, woodworkers and log merchants know what they can do to help.”
Further information can be found on www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/trees and the arboriculture team can be contacted by calling 01273 292929.