Woodland Trust warns thousands of historic trees at risk

An ancient woodland The Woodland Trust says ancient trees are nature's equivalent of listed buildings

Related Stories

Pests, disease and development are threatening more than 4,200 of Wales' most historic trees, a charity has warned.

The Woodland Trust said some of the most treasured trees it found at risk are more than 1,000 years old.

It said trees face regular problems from diseases such as ash dieback and pests like the Asian longhorn beetle.

Last month the Pontfadog Oak, a 1,200-year-old tree at Chirk, Wrexham, was blown down in high winds.

The charity said such trees were "the natural equivalent of listed buildings" and have made a contribution to Wales' folklore which cannot be replaced just by planting.

Start Quote

These huge stalwarts have taken centuries to grow and their loss would be devastating not only for the landscape but also for the environment”

End Quote Austin Brady Woodland Trust

The charity is holding a conference next month on how to protect trees and woodland.

It says it has found 444 historic ash trees which could be at risk from ash dieback and is asking the public to check the health of ash trees they find.

Head of conservation Austin Brady said: "At this time of year one of the easiest ways to see if a tree is suffering from ash dieback is to look at a young branch and scratch a little of the bark off.

"If it is green underneath the tree is healthy - if it is brown it is not.

"Watch out for wilting on the leaves - which may throughout the summer become more blackened but still stay on the branch - diamond-shape lesions on the trunk, or a balding crown.

"To lose any trees to pests, diseases and development is bad enough, but to lose our precious ancient trees would be absolutely terrible.

"These huge stalwarts have taken centuries to grow and their loss would be devastating not only for the landscape but also for the environment."

The charity said there are at least 15 other diseases affecting trees in Wales in addition to ash dieback.

But woodland faces other dangers as well, it said, such as the two acres (0.8 hectares) of ancient woodland that was cleared as part of an improvement of A470 at Cross Foxes in Gwynedd.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Wales stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Abdi Nor IftinGolden ticket

    How a refugee entered a lottery and won a new life in the US


  • Herring in a fur coatMerry herring

    How fish 'in a fur coat' is enough to make Russia's New Year happy


  • Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Windjana' Drilling SiteIn pictures

    The most stunning space photos of the year


  • Amy Adams, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock and Dame Judi DenchFilm quiz of 2014

    How much do you remember about the past 12 months?


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • GeoguessrWhere in the world...?

    Think you are a geography expert? Test your knowledge with BBC Travel’s interactive game

Programmes

  • Tom BrookTalking Movies Watch

    Tom Brook looks back at some of the best movies of 2014 from around the world

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.