Now that Ash Dieback has a full chokehold on the population, we are, unfortunately, seeing more and more Ash removal projects coming our way.
These two Ash stools in South Pool, Kingsbridge had been shedding twigs and smaller branches for quite a while. As the crowns overhung a studio roof and public highway (albeit a very quiet one!) re-coppicing was the only option. So they were carefully dismantled in a short day using the CMC-22.
As they were located in a conservation area, SHDC were given a notification of intended tree work, to which they had no objection. Even if they hadn’t been so heavily infected with Dieback, we still would have used the machine to access them, as climbing them would have been far too precarious due to the very old and hollow stools. This also meant the road was closed for the shortest amount of time possible.
The client was left with a considerable pile of logs, ready for splitting, stacking and seasoning for next winter. The remaining brash was stacked neatly as a habitat for pile to support the local ecosystem.
Catching Ash Dieback early, may mean using a machine like the CMC-22 may not be necessary. If you have an Ash or Ashes you think may be infected (more likely than not) we can come and inspect it for you, free of charge, with no obligation.
Skywalkers! and that’s exactly what Landmarc did, when they needed assistance with some technical tree works.
Landmarc are a prestigious environmental engineering company based near Totnes, who provide water and landscape solutions for clients nationwide. Skywalkers DTS were honoured to be asked to provide assistance on several local projects recently. There’s isn’t a lot they can’t deal with, using their vast array of machinery and highly skilled operators, but sometimes, a chainsaw in an experienced pair of hands is called for.
At Skywalkers we always treat tree removal as an absolute last resort. Everything we removed for Landmarc on these projects was for very good reason. Removing non-native species in favour of replanting natively, or Ash trees that were becoming dangerous due to Dieback infection and their location. Throughout the projects, far more is being replanted than we removed.
Dutch Elm Disease for the 21st century. Like it or not, it’s going nowhere. Well, actually, it’s going everywhere, including the South Hams.
There is no cure or treatment for the disease and over time infected trees will weaken, causing branches to fall and trees to eventually collapse and die. Infection can lead to the death of young trees in just two to three years and of mature trees within 3 to 5 years. This presents a significant health and safety risk, especially alongside roads, public rights of way and woodland areas used by the public for recreation activities. (source: gov.uk)
Symptoms of ash dieback include;
On leaves: Black blotches appear, often at the leaf base and midrib. Affected leaves wilt
On stems: Small lens-shaped lesions or necrotic spots appear on the bark of stems and branches and enlarge to form perennial cankers. The infection may girdle the stem and kill it in a single season. If the bark is peeled, the wood underneath has a brownish to grey discolouration. This discolouration extends beyond the bark necrosis
On the whole tree: Affected trees show extensive dieback of shoots, twigs and branches. Trees often have prolific epicormic shoots (shoots produced from previously dormant buds below the bark of the trunk or branches) (source: rhs.org.uk)
There isn’t much a farmer can’t fix with baler twine, and there aren’t many trees that can’t be dealt with using a rope and a tractor. So when we were called to a farm near Kingsbridge, to deal with a mature Ash with Dieback, we knew it was going to be a challenge.
Having already had some large roots severed, and with the infestation of Dieback, climbing and dismantling was out of the question. The only specifications were to avoid damage to the barn to the south, and the static caravan to the east, so the tree was headed north! Of course, no tree job on a farm would be complete without a rope and tractor, so for ‘belt & braces’ they were used to give a little tug on the right direction.