We have been undertaking a significant amount of work on trees on Hungerford Common in the past couple of weeks. Here’s a bit of background as to what’s been happening and why it’s been necessary.
We are felling leylandii evergreens in Newton’s Copse. These were originally inter-planted in 1974 with the beech trees. The leylandii were planted to encourage the beeches to grow tall to avoid the shade created. They have now done their job and been felled and sold for bio-mass pelleting. The work is part of a larger 10-year management plan set out by our arboriculturalist for the charity’s several thousand trees.
We have also felled two other trees, a Turkey oak and horse chestnut. Both have been under close scrutiny in recent years as each has been suffering from canker fungus disease. It was considered that neither will recover. They now are showing signs of becoming unsafe and will start to lose limbs. So, before any damage is done to adjacent buildings, it was wise to fell both trees before the spring.
These two trees will not be replaced on the boundary of the New Common. However there has been considerable planting of trees on the Common Port Down since 1999 where 274 deciduous trees have been added. There have been 98 trees removed including 60 evergreens on the whole estate for reasons of disease or public safety.
Whenever trees are felled, we consider the value of the trees as there is a regular demand within the estate for timber for repairs. Where suitable species have to be felled then the trunks will be milled for posts, boards and rails. Alternatively, as already noted, other unsuitable species are sold for bio-mass pellets.
For more information on the work of the Town and Manor of Hungerford, please click here.