Diseased logpile leads to destruction of 14 Hove elms

Posted On 20 Aug 2015 at 2:27 pm

More than a dozen elm trees are having to be destroyed after becoming infected by a logpile which became a breeding ground for elm beetles. 

Some of the diseased trees. Picture by Chris Hawtree


Council tree experts became aware of a concentration of affected elms in the Westbourne Street area of Hove last week.

After an extensive search of the area they found the pile of logs on private land, which has now been destroyed.

Christmas collections

A council spokesman said: “Unfortunately 14 trees are having to be destroyed. Our tree experts are dealing with this outbreak as a matter of urgency.”


A gap where trees were felled along New Church Road. Picture by Chris Hawtree

 Ward councillor Tom Bewick said: “It’s a real pity that the area around Westbourne Street will be losing some really beautiful elm trees.

“However, I would like to give credit to the council’s city parks team for locating the source of the disease quickly – found to be in a private dwelling where the infamous beetles were breeding.

“At least this environmental action will protect all the other trees and ensure that residents continue to enjoy living in one of the leafier parts of the city.”

Resident and former councillor Chris Hawtree said: “I was desperately sad to learn that elm logs left for two or three years on St Christopher’s School have fostered beetle which has killed trees on my road, and put at risk those within a one kilometre circle. 

“I sit upstairs and have always looked out at them with joy. It is exhilarating to look at the long vista of elms. Magical.”
Earlier this year, two more trees in Queen’s Park, Brighton were destroyed after showing signs of infection, which include

Brighton and Hove is host to the National Elm Collection, partly because of its excellent track record in elm preservation.

Whenever residents have work carried out on elm trees it is vital that the material is deposed of correctly by competent tree surgeons or gardeners.

Also, when purchasing fire wood residents should always check with the supplier that it contains no elm wood.

For any assistance or information regarding elm trees or identifying suspect logs please email arboriculture@brighton-hove.gov.uk or phone the council on 01273 292929.

  1. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    All this is causing much anguish round here. fs the School had not left the logs there, all of the trees would have been safe. As it is, one at the top of Westbourne Gardens will have to be chopped down too, and there is as yet no telling how far the beetles will have gone, and landed.

    • Stuart Derwent Reply

      It is very sad to see the unnecessary loss of more of our elm trees. However, it is a bit rich to pass the blame to the school. The Council’s troops on the ground plus volunteers have worked well for several decades, but where have there been the warnings about the danger of elm logs in the past few years? I asked the Council to put notices in that earlier free Council newspaper on several occasions. Result – nothing, and people then get the blame. Beyond belief.

      • Christopher Hawtree Reply

        Presumably the School hired a firm to chop back the elms on its land. Which firm was this, and why did it not dispose of the logs properly?

  2. feline1 Reply

    ALL the elm trees are going to die in the end if you don’t plant some more!

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