Saturday 19 July 2014

Larch Lumberjack

Larch trees on the slopes of Moelwyn Bach are being clear felled in an attempt to slow down the spread of the disease phyotphthora ramorum.  It’s also known as ‘sudden oak death’ and affects over a hundred different species of tree and shrub including the oak. But larch is the most susceptible and once the larch is removed other infected species tend to recover; I certainly hope so as the oaks in the Maentwrog nature reserve are priceless.

The disease was confirmed in spring 2013 and orders were issued for immediate felling. Due to the large number of infected woods and forests across Wales there has been an excess of work and a glut of wood for the mills forcing the price down. As a consequence the Welsh government has allowed the work to be prolonged. Whatever replaces the trees will need to be phytophthora resistant as the disease remains in the soil for up to 15 years.

Coed y Bleiddiau Uchaf is an old farmhouse with walled paddock just beside the railway and near the former railway inspector’s cottage. For years it has been engulfed by trees but the trees have been removed from all around and hopefully the ones inside the boundary will be felled without damage to the walls. In 1841 it was lived in by William and Mary Roberts and their five children.

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