South East Wales

50,000 trees planted in Gethin Woods, near Merthyr Tydfil

Tree planting Image copyright Natural Resources Wales
Image caption Tree planting at Gethin woodland, near Merthyr Tydfil

Fifty thousand trees have been planted at Gethin Woods, near Merthyr Tydfil.

The replanting work is to restock parts of the forest felled to tackle a disease affecting larch trees.

Specialist Welsh contractors planted 50,000 conifer trees, such as spruce and fir, which will be used by the timber industry in future decades.

Approximately 18,000 trees, a mix of 12 species like oak, birch and cherry, will also be planted.

The contractors plant each individual tree by hand and one worker can plant as many as 3,000 conifers in one day.

Phytophthora ramorum tree disease

  • Phytophthora ramorum has infected 6.7 million larch trees in Wales and kills the tree once it is infected
  • To tackle this, Natural Resources Wales has now felled close to 3 million trees to attempt to slow the spread of the disease
  • The disease was first discovered in Wales in 2010 and spread dramatically in 2012/13 due to climatic conditions

Source: Natural Resources Wales

The work is part of the wider planting programme by Natural Resources Wales where 3.2 million trees will be planted over the next six months.

Islwyn Jones, of Natural Resource Wales, said: "This disease has, and will continue to have, a dramatic impact on our forests in Wales with many areas still to be felled.

Disease resilient

"The felling work is ongoing, but alongside this is our programme to replant with a mix of broadleaf and conifers for a new generation of forests.

"This more diverse mix will actually benefit us in the future as it will be more resilient to disease and the effects of climate change."

Image copyright Natural Resources Wales
Image caption One worker can plant up to 3,000 conifers in one day

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