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Cherrypicker success for rare British Elms

Disaster hit British Elm trees in the 1970’s when more than 20 million trees were affected by the killer disease ‘Dutch Elm’.
With few left, it was an important occasion when one of the last remaining Elm trees was identified on County Council land in Bromsgrove West Midlands during a routine woodland inspection.
There have only been ten Elm trees identified across the Midlands region since they were virtually wiped out in the 1970's.
The tree, which is believed to be one of the last best specimens of its kind surviving needed careful work to enable woodland experts to take cuttings for propagation purposes and provide some much needed attention from Ringways tree surgeons.
The team brought in Access Hire specialists Facelift and their 22m Ascendant to allow for safe and easy access to all areas of the tree. The machine was operated to allow the surgeon to concentrate on the job in hand, with the hydraulic controls allowing for precise movement and positioning of the cage giving ample room for surveying and diagnosing any problems with no fears of damaging the Elm. The platforms manoverability allowed for unencumbered examination of lower and higher branches, removal of dead branches and some necessary trimming and general maintenance. The opportunity was taken to use the MEWP (mobile elevating work platform) to further survey each side of the tree and take any equipment needed to treat the tree in the cage - the Ascendants working cage load of 280kg providing further key advantages and its fly jib allowing the men to reach over any obstructions.
The machine was on site for approximately six hours with minimal fuss in positioning and virtually no disruption to traffic and the surrounding community.
The County Council organised for Kemerton Conservation Trust, a local charity that aims to conserve wildlife and places of beauty to collect the cuttings from the tree. Most importantly The Trust and Pershore College have jointly formed the RELIC project (Replanting Elms In the Countryside) to identify and replant disease resistant native elm trees in the British countryside.
For more information on the RELIC project email John Clarke, Conservation Advisor for Kemerton Conservation Trust at jclarkekem@btinternet.com or visit the website at www.kemerton.org/relic.htm

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