An update on this winter's woodland management

Wednesday 6th January 2021

Work will continue to take place in Arboretum and woodland over the next couple of months (January and February). Some paths may be closed during this time and the Woodland Car Park may also be closed on some days. Please follow all safety signage during your visit.

Safety

There will be a tree surgeon working in the arboretum removing deadwood from trees along some of the main paths and also around the woodland car park for visitor’s safety. We will also be removing some trees along the A49. This is work identified through our tree inspection regime, carried out to keep the site safe for the public. There are currently a number of dead and dying specimen trees within the Arboretum that have succumbed to disease and these will also have to be removed before they fall.

In the Arboretum

This year we will also be removing a number of birch and oak from the Arboretum to open up vistas and make room for new planting. These are native trees which self-seeded and were allowed to grow while the specimen trees of the Arboretum were still small. As the specimen trees have matured, they now need more space to develop and flourish. It is important to ensure the Arboretum does not become over-crowded and that each tree can grow and mature.

Work will also include thinning trees at Cotterell’s Folly, a group of particularly fine Scots pines within the Arboretum. They are being thinned to allow the remaining specimens to room to grow and the understory is being removed in this area so that the trees can be better displayed.

In the native woodland - Northwood and Southwood

We are also undertaking thinning work at the top of Northwood and in an area below the coppice area in the Southwood. This work is part of the ongoing 10 year Woodland Management plan approved by Forestry Commission and Natural England. The work is being undertaken to let light into woodland floor, encourage age and structural diversity, create standing and lying deadwood and allow remaining trees more space to develop.

We are also removing a line of trees from below the viewpoint as they are closing off this much-loved view. 

We will also be 'halo thinning' around a number of lime trees. These are important native trees and we want them to develop and recieve get more direct sunlight as this may encourage them to produce viable seed which will help their very long term survival. Limes stopped reproducing by seed hundreds of years ago and this may have been one of the reasons they went into decline (they were once a dominant tree in this part of the country).

Coppicing

From November, the Queenswood woodlands volunteer team will be starting this year’s coppice work. This involves cutting down a ‘coppice compartment’ which will regrow over the following years. Cutting a compartment each year on a cycle creates different types of habitat within the woodland to give the most benefit to wildlife. The resulting firewood and woodchip will be used on site and be on sale to the public. This work is continuing the long running tradition of coppice working at Queenswood which takes place in the south wood each year.

Much of the work, aside from the coppicing, has been carried out this year by local company Say it with Wood