#30DaysWild No. 13 We’re having to think ahead, particularly with oak and ash at the moment, as both are threatened with nasty diseases.
These are amongst the most numerous of Devon’s mature trees. Yet sudden oak death could wipe out some of our most important old friends, and in the next 15 years 90% of mature ash trees in Devon could be killed or severely affected by ash die. We’ve already had to fell a couple of ash trees behind the lodges – they were becoming a safety hazard. We’re not entirely sure whether it was ash disease or simple strangulation (when these saplings were put in, someone – not us! – weighed down the protective covering with tyres, which are now eating into the trunks of some grown trees), but a tree lost is always a shame.
So where seedlings pop up we’re nurturing them. They don’t always turn up where we want them (sometimes we move them) and they won’t all reach maturity either. But it’s a start. We’ve been doing it for several years now, and have some young but flourishing oaks in the field in front of Beech, Honeysuckle and Nuthatch Lodges. Probably they spring up where squirrels stashed and forgot them. This particular seedling is in the field below Balebarn, near the new labyrinth.
If you want to know more about tree diseases you can find information on the forestry commission’s website. There’s also a section on ash die back on the Natural Devon site.
#30DaysWild this time last year: Annual amphibian invasion