Three years ago we heard the first confirmed report of Chalara Ash dieback in a mature tree near Shepton Mallet, and have been monitoring the local woods since.
Two years ago we had yet to see any signs, but last year many Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) trees in the woods started to show the first signs of dieback.
This year it is now very clear that with dead tops of the trees all over. There are a few Ash not showing any signs yet, so we will continue to watch closely.
One of the worst examples, with several meters at the top of tree now dieing
Another typical Ash dieback scene, a really badly effected tree, standing next to one that appears untouched (yet)
Not all Ash trees seem to be effected yet
A typical example of Ash dieback
This Chalara dieback disease of ash trees caused by a fungus called Hymenoscyphus fraxineus.
At this time of year the Ramson leaves form dense, fragrant carpets under the Ash. I found the first flower spike forming today, it will not be long until the carpet turns into white stars.
The contractors completed their Conifer felling over the Easter weekend. The resulting stacks of timber are now by the Large Oak on the main track awaiting collection.
Unfortunately there will always be a few causalities of surrounding broadleaf trees, and this time the main Gatepost at the entrance to Harridge Woods West has also suffered.
The felled conifers, open up larger areas for the canopy, letting in sunlight to the ground flora
The timber is stacked waiting extraction, while the brashings are mostly left where they fell
A casualty of conservation, unfortunately this limb of an Ash was caught by a falling conifer
The ancient coppiced “Stoggles” come in all shapes and sizes
Holly Bark – large tree at the top of Limekiln Wood
Alder Bark – Taken near the Road bridge in Netttlebridge
Oak Bark – A Medium sized tree near the stone bridge
Western Red Cedar Bark – This tree is just above the main track
Wild Cherry Bark – This is one of two trees at the Entrance to Harridge West
Silver Birch Bark – near the Dew pond
Beech Bark – on the ridge of Ashwick Grove
Ask Bark – An old Ash Tree near stone bridge
Larch Bark – tree near the entrance of Harridge West
Hazel Bark – Taken near Stone Bridge
Norway Spruce Bark – near Harridge West entrance
The bright winters sun has been ideal for photographing close ups of all the different types of tree bark.