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Chalara Predicament

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Chalara Predicament

Postby Wendelspanswick » Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:02 am

About a third of our woodland consists of mature Ash trees, closely planted, I guess, about 40-50 years ago.
There is no sign of Chalara at the present but looking on the interactive map it's been located to the west and east of us at a distance of about 30 miles. We also have a bridleway that runs through the part of the wood where the stand of Ash is so there is a high chance of contamination from walkers from other areas.
My predicament is do I start thinning out now while the Ash are disease free allowing me unfettered movement of the timber crop but possibly taking out any disease resistant trees in the process or do I wait to see if the Ash becomes infected whereupon the movement of the timber will be restricted.
Ideally I would start thinning now but I had planned to invest in a bandmill and plank it myself, the trouble is I am midway through building the barn so I would have to sub out the planking process.
Whereas if I wait till the winter spring of 2016/17 the barn will be complete and I will be geared up to plank the timber, but if the timber is from an infected source I would be unable to move it off site.
Any one else with a large number of Ash trees on their site?
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Re: Chalara Predicament

Postby Wendelspanswick » Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:05 am

Here is a link to the Chalara map:
http://chalaramap.fera.defra.gov.uk
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Re: Chalara Predicament

Postby oldclaypaws » Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:41 am

My barn goes up next week. We are both engaged in a similar strategy only I'm focused on oak with less ash. I was tempted to build a barn myself, but with little experience decided it would take too long and am having it done professionally. I've cleared the site myself but on the construction from start to finish it'll be up in a week. Its costing, but then its done and I can crack on. The FC have been round recently and approved my felling (thinning) application to reduce the oak from 90% to 30% over the next 20 years. We also discussed the ash; as you know I'm in the same region. The spread is slow but insidious and seen as inevitable. It might take 5 years to hit us, maybe 10, who knows? The assumption from the FC is if you have ash, start to think about thinning or using it sooner rather than later as it will get hit in the long term. Wouldn't panic but I'd crack on with that barn and try to complete a.s.a.p., Chalara will be here eventually, I see your dilemma.
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Re: Chalara Predicament

Postby smojo » Mon Aug 17, 2015 4:18 pm

Only a novice but here's my take on it. "Don't panic Mr Mannering". Why pre-empt something that you aren't sure will happen? Probability isn't the same as inevitability. Maybe you'll escape lightly, maybe yours are disease resistant and if you do get it, it may take a long time before it affects the timber quality. A recent visit to our woods by the FC officer advised us to do nothing.
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Re: Chalara Predicament

Postby Wendelspanswick » Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:18 pm

Well I am off to the Confor show in September so I will try to gather more info then but on a good note I have permission from She Who Must Be Obeyed to seriously look at the bandsaw mill options.
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Re: Chalara Predicament

Postby oldclaypaws » Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:49 pm

I respectfully think you fail to understand the restrictions that apply if you get hit by Chalara, Smojo. There's no 'chalara light' or long term timber strategy once you've got it, the restrictions are very black and white. If you get hit you're served with a Statutory Plant Notice and you're stuffed as regards the Ash timber, it can't be taken off site and is effectively useless, you can't sell it as fuel or timber. If you currently have valuable Ash which you want to harvest and sell, best to do it now or very soon. There are no restrictions on movements of uninfected timber, its seen as low risk. If we're talking a value of thousands, its a gamble to leave it standing. Although the advise is 'don't panic, there's no urgency to fell', that's partly because they want to see if some mature disease resistant trees survive, but once infected they are effectively worthless other than as an experiment in disease resistance. If worried, keep close tabs on the local situation via the local FC officer. Personally, if you hope to realise a return from the Ash trees, I'd fell most to be safe. Interested to know your thoughts on bandsaws and which way you're leaning. Unless you have a tractor with a forklift the bandsaws have to be housed and the logs brought to them, they're heavy, so being able to move the logs becomes a factor. Truly portable mills give the bonus of being able to go to the tree. I'm exploring all options. Detailed advise on Chalara in the Southwest here;

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/A4_SouthWestofEngland_chalara_FINAL.pdf/$FILE/A4_SouthWestofEngland_chalara_FINAL.pdf
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Re: Chalara Predicament

Postby calvertwood » Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:20 pm

"Genetically modified ash trees could replace the 80 million expected to die in the next 20 years" (from yesterday's Guardian). http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/31/ash-dieback-gm-genetic-modification-woodland-crisis
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Re: Chalara Predicament

Postby Rod Taylor » Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:24 pm

Good news for Ash-dieback ??? Have you seen this report from the Telegraph a few days ago.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/e ... tant-trees

We can all still keep our fingers crossed our own trees are among those that have resistance. Still no sign of problems with Ash in our wood, but have seen effected trees less than 5 miles away.

Link didn't work when tested but article was published on 13th Jan and comes up on google search
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Re: Chalara Predicament

Postby vushtrri » Fri Jan 22, 2016 9:21 am

Bit confused about not being able to move Ash off of an infected site as the below from the FC website says otherwise..

Wood movements within Great Britain
Ash wood may continue to be moved within Great Britain from all woodlands, whether they are free from H. fraxineus or whether they are suspected or confirmed as infected.

At all woodlands and sites we recommend the simple precaution of removing leaf material from logs or firewood while it is still on site on site as a precaution to reduce the possibility of the disease being spread with logs and firewood.
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Re: Chalara Predicament

Postby oldclaypaws » Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:43 am

Research has shown the disease is spread during the fungus's reproductive phase when spores are produced on fallen dead leaf stalks. The risk from logs is considered minimal, as they are not going to produce leaves or spores. In the case of infected trees its important to try and clear up as much of the dead leaf and twig matter as possible and burn it on site to prevent spread to other trees, so if brash, twigs and leaves are removed from the logs and burnt, the logs should be OK.
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