Trees felled in Wentwood Forest, Newport as disease found
12:02am Friday 4th October 2013 in News
TREES are being chopped down in parts of Wales’ largest ancient forest in Newport after the discovery of the disease Phytophthora ramorum.
The disease, which is already affecting thousands of larch trees across the UK, has been confirmed in Wentwood Forest.
Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw) and Natural Resources Wales, which manage the vast majority of the 1,000 hectare forest, have begun clearfelling more than 200 hectares of diseased larch.
But it is expected the disease will continue to spread, requiring further felling in coming months and years.
It is expected the felling and replanting work will leave the trust facing a cost of £35,000.
Barry Embling, Woodland Trust site manager at Wentwood, said: “This is the most serious and devastating action we’ve had to take on our estate because of tree disease and it again highlights both the need to tackle tree disease and the importance of restoring as much of our damaged ancient woodland as possible to make it more resilient in decades to come.
“Restoration will allow native trees to establish themselves over a long period of time. Creating a resilient woodland landscape with different species of trees of different ages is the most effective natural weapon to ensure tree disease does not decimate the countryside.”
"Following the felling the trust believes that the best approach is to immediately replant the wood with native broadleaf trees such as oak and cherry in the hope of preserving woodland specialist plants that only thrive when sheltered by tree canopy. As no restocking grants are available in Wales this year, this would leave the trust facing an expected cost of £35,000.”
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