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Timber! Big Beech Felled in Bluebell Wood

A 70ft (21m) high Beech tree was felled in Bluebell Wood by the Ranger Team this week.

Why the tree was felled
The tree was being attacked by four pathogens; honey fungus, artists fungus, beeech bark disease and Kretzschmaria Dev (also known as brittle cinder). Brittle Cinder causes soft rot and is common on trees such as Lime, Maples, Oak and Beech and affects the stem buttresses and the roots.

The fruiting bodies of brittle cinder are flat and gray with white edges in spring which then change to black, domed lumps.

Kretzschmaria Dev (also known as brittle cinder)

Ranger and Arboriculturalist Ashley Wheal had been monitoring the tree closely as it was located in what we call a "Zone 1" (an area of the Park which is heavily used). After this year's annual inspection the decision was made to fell the tree.

Felling the Tree
Before felling the tree the crown was removed so that surrounding trees were not damaged as it came down. To do this Rangers Ian Lowe and Ashley Wheal had to use a MEWP (Mobile Elevated Work Platform) to get up high enough.

One this had been done a winch and line could be attached to the tree to control the direction of fall. It was then up to Head Ranger Greg Higby to finish the job. 

Plans are already in place to plant replacements and three beech saplings have been ordered and will be planted soon.