Farmers are being encouraged by the government to take part in the new Tree Health pilot designed to support action against pests and diseases.
The three-year pilot will be delivered by the Forestry Commission and will cover parts of the North West, West Midlands, London and the South East of England.
The scheme aims to establish 100 agreements with anyone interested in helping deal with trees on their land affected by a pest or disease outbreak.
As well as landowners and managers, farmers are also being urged to express their interest in taking part in the pilot.
The pilot will at first focus on ash, sweet chestnut, larch and spruce, according to Defra, and the Forestry Commission will support the felling and restocking of trees as well as providing maintenance payments for restock sites.
Among the incentives being tested through the pilot, support will be available for diseased and infested trees outside of woodland, for roadside ash with ash dieback, and for trees affected by the spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus) and sweet chestnut blight (Cryphonectria parasitica).
Forestry Commission chair Sir William Worsley said: “For the Tree Health pilot we envisage a genuine partnership with land owners and managers whose trees are affected by certain pests and pathogens – one that will strengthen the health of our iconic natural environment.
“I am calling for eligible tree owners and managers across England to submit their expressions of interest to the pilot."
The government said that learnings from the pilot will help inform the future Tree Health Scheme, which will be rolled out in 2024.
The pilot will work alongside the existing Countryside Stewardship Woodland Tree Health grants, which will continue to be on offer until 2024 when the new scheme will be adopted.