Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Felling of disease-hit larch trees in Belvoir Forest under way

The felling of 6,500 larch trees in Belvoir Forest – home to the oldest known trees in Ireland – is now under way.

The drastic measure was decided upon after trees in the Belfast forest were found to be infected with the virulent Phytopthora ramorum fungus, which has devastated Japanese larch plantations across Northern Ireland.

The disease is spread through the release of infective spores and affected trees are soon killed.

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said some of Belvoir's trees were present when Belfast was little more than a village.

"Many of these veteran trees are growing within the larch plantations that need to be felled. In many ways, this felling should ultimately benefit the veteran trees and we have worked closely with Forest Service to ensure that the felling of disease-affected trees is carried out as sympathetically as possible to minimise the potential threat to the veterans.''

More than 220,000 trees have now been felled across Northern Ireland after becoming infected.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz