Diseased trees set for chop before they fall down

Friday 14th January 2022 8:14 am
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TREES alongside one of the Forest’s busiest roads that pose a "particular risk" because of disease are set to be cut down.

The work to make safe trees affected by Chalara ash dieback will mean a series of 12-hour closures for the A4136 between Edge End and Mitcheldean.

Trees affected by the fungal disease, which weakens their structure, have been marked with an orange cross.

Those trees with more than 50 per cent crown dieback - which makes them potentially unsafe due to the risk of dropping limbs or falling entirely - and within a tree length of the highway will be removed or otherwise made safe.

The understorey of trees within five metres of the road will be cut back at the same to improve visibility along the main route between Gloucester and Monmouth.

Dave Sykes Forestry England’s Beat Forester in Forest of Dean explained: "Our sustainable forest management of the Forest of Dean includes regular surveying for pests and diseases affecting the trees.

"Our latest roadside safety survey identified Chalara ash dieback along the A4136, the trees here are a particular safety risk for the public because the effects of Chalara can destabilise a tree very quickly.

Diseased trees are at greater risk of dropping branches or falling altogether, which is a risk to road users.

"An uprooted tree close to the road could even damage the integrity of the carriageway itself.

"Forestry work is extremely hazardous, and the brittle nature of Chalara-infected trees is an extra factor we must manage which is why we are working in sections under a full closure.

’’We have individually inspected each tree to decide how best to make it safe, you may have noticed that many trees along the A4136 are marked with an orange cross."

The works will take between Monday, January 24 and Saturday, January 28 between Edge End and Mireystock.

Monday, January 31 and Friday, February 4 between Brierley and Nailbridge.

Access for local properties and emergency vehicles will be maintained.

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