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Woody2Shoes wrote:... and activities like flailing hedgerows are good new ways to spread disease around the place. .

As the mechanisation of hedge trimming and wood debris chipping evolved post c. 1950 My Father (who died in 1982) expressed reservations about the lack of pest and disease control involved with the practice for many years.

It was with very mixed feelings, having spent many autumn/winter/springs carrying out the back breaking tasks of hedge trimming and ditching by hand, the advent of the tractor mounted equipement was a relief, but he often commented that the loss of the winter warming hedge cutting debris bonfires that naturally sterilised any suspect thinning's could pose a risk. Orchard pruning's of suspect wood were always burnt asap rather than chipped and left in place. I can't help thinking many of the old stile established orchards and wood plantations were and are not helped by this lack of basic housekeeping.
By phil.p
And another pest - the box tree moth. I've just read in I that gardeners in N.T. estates are trying to find ways of encouraging jackdaws as they have been found to eat the caterpillars.