Harvesting the larch
Planted by the Trust over 50 years ago as a crop to feed the timber industry, the European larch trees in Lynches Wood were reaching maturity and ready to be harvested.
Specialist contractors felled many of the larch trees this year. The works were all part of the management of the woods and completed the cycle of why of why the larch were originally planted.
The larch harvest also helps us to manage the spread of the deadly fungal-disease, Phytophthora ramorum. Large swathes of larch have been infected by the disease in the west of England. Larch trees are particularly susceptible but the disease can also be deadly to oak, sweet chestnut and beech. The removal of the larch helps to stop the disease from spreading.
" The greater the diversity of trees in Lynches Wood the less prone it'll be to some of the nasty tree diseases that are affecting many woodlands in the UK."
The trees in Lynches Wood were growing too closely together. This wasn't good for their development.
After careful planning, we've cut some down leaving the ones that remain to mature properly.
Where the trees are too dense, little light reaches the ground leaving the wood dark and uninviting. Competition for light and resources makes the trees tall and spindly. By removing some of the weaker, less healthy trees it gives those those left the space to grow. It allows light back into the wood, creating opportunities for plants like bluebells to grow.
The removal of the mature larch provides us with an opportunity to replant the wood with native broadleaved trees like oak and sweet chestnut. The young trees will restore the character of Lynches Wood and create a more natural age structure.