Train Hugger Planting Projects

Case Study: Saving a Hampshire Woodland from Disease

Tree Planting

Case Study: Saving a Hampshire Woodland from Disease

A project to revitalise a Hampshire woodland ravaged by ash die back and drought

The trees in this Hampshire woodland have been badly affected by the deadly tree disease Ash Dieback. To make matters worse, the rest of the woodland is dominated by beech trees, which are one of the species that are particularly susceptible to drought. Occurrences of droughts in the UK are expected to increase as the Climate Emergency progresses and so non-drought resistant strains of beech trees may not survive. The dead and dying trees in this woodland will be replaced with a mix of conifers and broadleaf trees that have been chosen specifically for their resistance to disease and climate change.

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Listed below are some of the trees planting on this site

The grey willow has oval leaves that sit alongside the grey felt-like twigs and catkins which give it its name. The willow is often associated with sadness, but it wasn’t always so: it was a tree of celebration in the Bible. Aspirin is derived from salicin which is found in all willow species, and our ancestors would chew willow bark to relieve toothache and other pain.
Grey Willow
Douglas fir was first introduced to the UK from North America in the 1800s. These fragrant evergreen members of the pine family can live for up to 1,000 years, but are often cut down for use as Christmas trees. Douglas fir timber has lots of commercial uses, including furniture, flooring and decking, for example.
Douglas Fir
Also known as the common or English oak, this is the undisputed king of the woods, supporting more wildlife species than any other native tree in the UK. “Robur” in this oak’s Latin name means “strength” and “hard timber” because this tree produces incredibly durable wood which can be used to make many things, including furniture and flooring. The oak has been considered sacred by many gods in mythology throughout the ages.
Pedunculate Oak
The hornbeam is extremely tough and keeps its leaves all year round, making it an attractive proposition for birds, insects and other animals. Hornbeam wood is very hard, in fact it is also known as “ironwood” and the Romans recognised its durability, using it to make their chariots. Nowadays, this timber is used for tool handles, coach wheels, parquet flooring and chess pieces!
Hawthorn is very much associated with the month of May, and the appearance of its bright, white flowers heralds the change from spring to summer. It is prolific in hedgerows, scrub and woodland throughout the UK and Ireland, and a single tree can grow as tall as 10m. In pagan times, hawthorn was a symbol of marriage and fertility, but in the Middle Ages, it was never brought into homes, as people believed it was a harbinger of illness and death.
Alder can be found across Europe and thrives in moist ground and damp cool areas, which is why you’ll often see alder trees planted near rivers and ponds. Moth caterpillars love alder leaves and the tree’s roots make an ideal nesting site for otters. For humans, the real value of alder wood is that it’s durable when wet, so is useful for making boats and sluice gates. The story goes that outlaws like Robin Hood would have used the green dye from alder flowers to camouflage their clothing!
This striking tree, also known as the “quaking aspen” has shimmering foliage and can grow to 25m tall. The Celts believed that when aspen leaves fluttered in the wind, the tree was communicating with spirits between this world and the next. Since the European Beaver was reintroduced into Scotland after centuries of extinction, aspen has been one of its favourite foods.
The common hazel is native to Europe and western Asia and forms an important part of England’s hedgerows. We have all heard of hazelnuts, which are rich in unsaturated fats and protein, and an extremely popular ingredient in many of the world’s cuisines. Did you know that hazel trees were once seen as both magical and a symbol of fertility?
This deciduous tree has broad leaves which look a little like those of the maple and start off bright green, before turning red and falling in the autumn. The wild service is becoming increasingly rare, but grows best in the UK’s ancient woodlands near oak or ash trees. You’ll find wild service trees growing on the British Prime Minister’s country estate in Buckinghamshire, which is named after its fruits, “Chequers”.
Wild Service
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