Serious concerns have been raised for the region's forests after the discovery of four confirmed cases of ash dieback disease.
The fungal infection is threatening to wipe out Britain's ash population and has already caused a political storm over the Government's handling of the crisis.
The confirmed cases are in recently planted Ash sites near Richmond in North Yorkshire, Newton Aycliffe and Seaham in County Durham and Newcastle.
The disease is easily spread and it has sparked major worries for many more of the area's natural woodlands - especially in the Lake District National Park where there are significant ash populations.
More top news
Paul Brand meets more parliamentary candidates in our last political programme before the General Election. Watch it here:
A look ahead at the forecast for the Tyne Tees region.
A report from the Royal Society for Public Health ranks Middlesbrough 2nd in its list of the towns with the least healthy high streets.