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Larch Trees

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Larch Trees

Postby LukeG » Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:12 am

Trying to figure out the best course of action so would appreciate some input.

My wood is a mixture of Norway Spruce, Grand Fir, Beech, Larch and a few other native broadleafs. Situation is that I want to gradually remove the Larch which is probably 20-30 trees and replace with resistant conifer species. They haven't shown signs of P.Ramourum as yet but I want to be pro-active as it seems inevitable given the spread in South Wales.

The Problem: I can't fell the trees in one go then plant new species because the neighbouring wood is 6 acres of Larch. So even if I pre-empt any infection my neighbour could become infected and defeat the whole point of me felling my trees.

The only solution I can see is to gradually plant new resistant species whilst gradually removing my larch. As far as I can see from the Forrestry Commision data Scots Pine, Black Pine and Lodgepole are resistant but other conifers are susceptible hosts for p.ramorum which if I planted a load of young trees and my neighbours wood became infected would be a disaster.

So I guess my question is if the above three types are resistant to ramorum is it safe to plant them alongside larch trees trees that could in the future become infected. In theory it shouldn't affect them right? The reality is I can't expect my neighbour to fell all his trees so I need a plan to plant along side the larch.

Thoughts please.
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Re: Larch Trees

Postby Rankinswood » Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:27 am

Hi Luke,

I am having some difficulty understanding the suggested logic of this approach ?

What exactly is it that you are worried about ?

If your trees don't get P. ramorum then leave them alone.

If your trees get P. ramorum then you will be forced to cut them down by the FC.

What age / height / girth are these trees ?

What do you plan to do with the trees that you cut down ? P. Ramorum does not damage the timber. The timber from 20 larch trees will not generate sufficient income to cover the felling and extraction costs but could be used on site to make a good woodland building i.e add value to the felled crop.

The fact that your neighbour has larch trees is an irrelevance as these are not your trees.

The trees that you suggest to replace any trees that you cut down will not produce such good quality useable durable timber as larch.

You make no mention of replanting with Douglas Fir which is a much more valuable timber than pine but will take 50 - 75 years to produce a good useable crop.

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Re: Larch Trees

Postby LukeG » Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:48 am

Obviously if the trees don't get ramorum then everything is fine. But going by the outbreak it seems a case of when, not if. It would be foolish of me not to start planning and planting other trees now do as to avoid a situation whereby I have to fell a large amount of trees and lose a lot of vover in the process. My issue is what to plant as if mine or my neighbours trees do become infected then it would affect ceratin other species, especially young trees. I need to have a plan that, should the worst happen, I don't end up with my newly planted trees affected also. Commercial value is of no concern to me, I just want to replace with some medium to fast growing conifer and broadleaf varieties that are resistant to ramorum and enhance to biodiversity of my woodland.

Also, Douglas Fir is a species that is affected by ramorum if it is in close proximity to sporulating hosts. So planting young Douglas Fir next to a load of larch trees seems like a risk. The trees I mention above are simply those that The Forrestry Commission has found to be most resistant so far.
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Re: Larch Trees

Postby oldclaypaws » Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:10 am

Sympathies LukeG. I see your reasoning and agree its prudent to assume the worst and try to increase your tree diversity to have a ramorum resilient wood. The good news is that there are quite a large number of species, both conifers and broadleaves that the FC recommend for planting that are resistant or unaffected. Tables at the bottom of this link are what you need.$FILE/fcreplantingrecommendations.pdf
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