2013-05-22  facebook twitter rss

Larch Fellers’ Warning

“If you are thinking of felling any Larch this summer you need to apply for your Larch-felling license now.” This is the message from Arboriculture and Forestry specialist with H&H Land and Property who already has a number of client applications in place.

In recent years Larch trees have become infected by a pathogen called Phytophthora ramorum. This is a highly infectious fungus-like pathogen of plants that kills the tree and is infectious to other Larch. The symptoms are only visible on the needles and as Larch is deciduous the pathogen can only be spotted between May and October. In other words, the critical period for inspection and licensing has just begun. The restriction on the issuing of licences has been introduced as a means of controlling the infection, what is yet another threat to the woods and forests of the UK.

Richard Hunter

Richard Hunter

“Anybody wishing to fell must apply to the Forestry Commission as you cannot fell until the felling license is approved. With the opening date for inspections starting on May 31st it is important to act now as the window for inspections will only be open until the needles drop in autumn” says Richard Hunter.

Richard continues: “Any felling licence submitted for Larch is put on hold until a Forestry Commission officer has inspected the site to be sure that it does not contain P.Ramorum. As the needles are flushing now, the FC will be out checking felling sites that have been submitted over the winter. Only when the all clear has been given can felling work start.”

Although Cumbria has had relatively few outbreaks and County Durham and Northumberland woodlands have not been affected, the Forestry Commission must still inspect woodland. This is completed by them either visiting the site or undertaking an aerial survey in order to establish whether the standing timber is infected or not. If the stand of trees proves to be uninfected a licence will be issued as soon as possible thereafter.

If inspection reveals that the site is infected, it will be felled as emergency work with extra bio-security measures undertaken. Richard adds: “Infected material does not receive a good price due to limited use and extra handling costs. In addition, due to preventative felling in the south west and Wales there is a glut in market so clean timber is also not trading as well as it has in the past.”

For other owners, Richard believes the common sense approach, is to proceed as normal and to keep an eye on the trees. They should have green needles in August - if they turn brown, start to drop off in June or look out of place there may be a problem.

For further details about Larch Processing licensing contact Richard Hunter - of H&H Land & Property on 01228 406260, Email: Richard.Hunter@hhland.co.uk.

HH Land

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