David Griffith, Tree Health Surveyor, goes above and beyond for tree health

David Griffith has been volunteering as a Tree Health Surveyor with the Woodland Trust since the Observatree project started in 2014. Along with over 200 other volunteers involved in the project, David is tasked with surveying woods and trees for signs of pests and diseases including Chalara dieback of ash.

Any positive sightings are reported to the Forestry Commission using the Tree Alert online reporting tool. The information submitted through Tree Alert is used to build up a picture of the distribution of pests and diseases across the UK, illustrated by maps such as the interactive Chalara map hosted by Defra.

In recent months, David has been a man on a mission to fill in some of the blank squares on the Chalara map in West Wales where the disease hasn’t yet been reported. David has identified ash trees infected with Chalara dieback of ash in over 20 new 10km grid squares, completed 68 Tree Alert reports and logged nearly 365 volunteer hours.  Sam Milner, Tree Health Surveyor for Natural Resources Wales, was “very impressed with the quality of David’s Tree Alert reports and the samples he has submitted.”

We are incredibly lucky to have such an inspiring and dedicated person within the Observatree volunteer network. David is an exceptional citizen scientist, combining knowledge and enthusiasm to carry out his role in generating useful tree health data.

“We as volunteers, I feel, do the fun stuff – getting out into woods, surveying and reporting. We have had excellent training for our role and I personally feel the support we get is second to none.” David Griffith, volunteer Tree Health Surveyor.


  1. Yes! It’s great being outdoors. No matter where I go I’m looking at a tree’s health, but being out in our wonderful landscape is the best thing! Observatree has given us volunteers a wonderful way of experiencing our environment first hand, of showing that we care!

  2. Hi David

    we have seen a stand of dead, mainly oak trees near where we live in Brockenhurst – behind the New Park Hotel and near a conservation area. Its a large amount of trees near a small stream. We wondered what caused these trees to die off ? Can you help or direct us to soemone who may know ? Many thanks and good luck with your work

    Moira and Alan Beckett

  3. Hi Moira and Alan,

    Thank you for your comment about David’s blog. The best thing to do would be to report this using Tree Alert, the Forestry Commission’s reporting tool for pests and diseases:

    Once completed, your Tree Alert report will be received by the tree health advisory service at Forest Research. They will review the report and make a diagnosis of what might be wrong with the trees. The team will also offer you advice on how to deal with it. This is a free service offered by tree health experts at Forest Research.

    You will need three photographs to upload into your Tree Alert report in order to submit it successfully as this will help the team to make a diagnosis.

  4. The wonderful informative post shared on this page about the health of trees and save from different kind of disease ,If you are interested to removed the Richmond disease of the trees ,Then the best solution is to given a pure water daily to all thetrees of a garden according to time and also spray a medicine of Richmond disease which is helpful for you to remove the diseases of Richmond from all the trees in a very short interval of time and increase the beauty of a garden .

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