Trees felled in Long Park in battle against ash dieback

Ash Dieback in Long Park, Sidmouth Picture: Google Maps

Ash Dieback in Long Park, Sidmouth Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

D Day came this week for the ash trees in Long Park, sadly that is not the springboard to victory that it was in 1944.

Ash Dieback in Long Park, Sidmouth Picture: Ed Dolphin

Ash Dieback in Long Park, Sidmouth Picture: Ed Dolphin - Credit: Archant

‘D’ is for Dieback; a disease caused by an invading fungus that will probably kill many ash trees in the valley. One local tree surgeon, Andy Rowse, has already been called on to fell a dozen other large ash trees in the valley this year.

Back in August, volunteers with Sidmouth Arboretum helped the Town Council to survey the large ash trees on Council land and a problem was noted in Long Park. This was checked by professional tree surgeons, and some of the trees alongside the Woolbrook were condemned.

Town Council Chair, Ian Barlow said, “Sadly It has become necessary to fell several diseased ash trees before they become dangerous and more difficult and costly to remove. People should be aware that there will almost certainly be more ash trees felled in the next few years due to Ash Dieback disease. These trees will be replaced. I would like to thank our colleagues at Sidmouth Arboretum for the assistance they have given when working with the Council and for planting hundreds of trees throughout the Sid valley that future generations of our town will enjoy.”

The work began at the start of this week (December 7), a sad coincidence is that this is the end of National Tree Week when we are encouraged to plant more trees. The good news is, although a tragedy for the individual trees, Long Park will still have a line of trees along its northern side. The ash trees are mixed in with other species including oak, sycamore and field maple. The remaining trees will take the chance to expand their canopies to fill the available spaces.

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Also, new young trees will be planted, one of which signals the return of the elm. Plant breeders have come up with a new variety of elm that is resistant to Dutch Elm Disease, and the town is being presented with one of these trees by the Tree Council, organisers of the National Tree Week.

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