Beauty and Infection

Cutting Trees to Fight Disease in Glenariff Forest Park

White Hawthorne tree blooms grace hedgerows of the rural hillside facing Glenariff Forest Park. The other white is grazing sheep. The North Channel of the Irish Sea is visible at the foot of the glen, with the shore of Scotland just visible.

Foreground are the stumps of mature trees cut by the forest service to control the oomycete plant pathogen Phytophthora ramorum. We visited June 2014, the year before, October 2013, the Belfast Telegraph reported “Northern Ireland is close to the point where it will be impossible to eradicate a virulent disease from the forests where it has taken hold.” Glenariff Forest part was one of those forests and the tree stumps are victims of that struggle.

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Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

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