Tree Planting in the Community
Plant a Native Tree – the first step in planting a Forest
We have a long-term plan which includes a tree planting programme; we plant semi-mature native species in public areas each year, along with planting trees in the Liffey Linear Park.
Trees are nature’s way of renewing the air that we breathe and a mature tree produces a significant amount of oxygen in any given year.
- Trees also help to filter dust and pollution and provide a welcome break in large green areas;
- Trees are a very important habitat for our birds, butterflies, ladybirds, squirrels etc.;
- Trees tend to soften drab surroundings; screen buildings create shelter and a habitat for plants and wildlife providing food and shelter for birds, insects and other animals.
We would strongly recommend selecting native trees when considering tree planting in any residential location. Some trees are Not Suitable for planting along the roadside simply because they will grow too high or have a wide girth, or in some cases the root system will develop close to the surface – and rip up the road, footpath or damage your house foundations.
Some of the larger trees may be suitable for planting on the estate green area – choose your location carefully, trees take a long time to grow to their full size, consider what the tree will look like in twenty years’ time, take advice from a competent professional prior to planting trees.
While Ireland does not have a very significant amount of forests – particularly forests of native trees, what we have are very important because forests are a vital part of global ecosystems and their continued survival is being compromised by human activities all over the globe. They provide socio-cultural benefits such as recreational, medical and contribute towards community development, and together with soil, forests are the world’s largest carbon sinks, therefore playing a crucial role in mitigating the effects of climate change and protecting biodiversity.
When planting trees ensure that you consider for the following:
- Consider potential sites carefully, and select species which would be suitable for that location in terms of size, shape etc.- (also taking into consideration how the trees will grow in the future in terms of height and spread);
- When sourcing trees / saplings purchase them from reputable garden centres who supply trees grown from native seed stock, as this will be the best tree for native wildlife;
- Select semi-mature trees – generally in the range 14-16cm, 16-18cm, 18-20cm, 20-25cm – bare-root and/or root-balled depending on the site – they are more expensive to buy but are less susceptible to damage;
- Select a specimen with a well-balanced branch system, a good root system, and remove any damaged roots or branches prior to planting.
- Before planting, dig a pit wide enough to take the spread of the roots and deep enough to have the tree at the same level in the soil as it was in the nursery;
- Planting of trees should not take place when the ground is frozen or water-logged;
- Plant trees in public open spaces (or along streets / roadsides in consultation with Local Authority);
- Bare rooted trees should be planted when the trees are dormant, from the beginning of November until the end of March;
- Ensure that a suitable stake is provided to support the tree during its first few years in its new location;
- Remember to give the tree a good watering after planting and during dry weather in its first year.
The tree should also be secured to the stake with a durable strap and spacer which will not damage the tree stem. The area around the tree (up to one metre diameter depending on the size of the tree) should be kept free of grass and weeds for the first three years. Strimming near the base of the tree is likely to damage the bark, so avoid strimming near trees.
Remember trees need maintenance, so plan a maintenance programme to keep the tree healthy:
- Do a little pruning / trimming / shaping every couple of years;
- Keep the area around the tree weed free;
- Water trees during dry spells;
- Loosening strapping each year, and remove stakes when the tree has “settled in”;
National Tree Week / Seachtain Náisiúnta na gCrann
National Tree Week / Seachtain Náisiúnta na gCrann is organised each year by the Tree Council of Ireland – for further information contact The Tree Council of Ireland Website which is well worth a visit. In Kildare the County Council’s Environment Department generally distribute the saplings / trees through the Tidy Towns network in the county.
Newbridge Tidy Towns Association operates a Tree Subsidy Scheme whereby we can subsidise Residents Associations in purchasing semi mature native trees for planting in high profile green areas, however we have a limited budget, so the scheme is operated on a “first come – first served” basis.
We encourage Residents Associations to participate in National Tree Week, and select some native tree species for planting on their green areas. You can select some larger trees for Residential Estate green areas, but be sure to plant them well away from roadways, and buildings. Business owners could plant some trees in the vicinity of their business premises, as this would provide an attractive environment for employees, customers and passers-by
Native Trees of Ireland
Cad a dhéanfaimid feasta gan adhmad?
Tá deireadh na gcoillte ar lár.
What will we do without wood – Now that the forests are destroyed?
Alder – Fearnóg – Alnus Glutinosa is a fast growing deciduous tree often found in boggy / wet places. Catkins form on the branches in spring, and over time develop into egg shaped fruits, the alder can grow to 20 metres in height. It is rich in insects on the foliage, and therefore attracts a myriad of small birds. Alder is often seen lining banks of rivers and thrives in un-shaded areas.
Arbutus – Strawberry Tree – Caithne – Arbutus Unedo is an evergreen tree which flowers with creamy bells and sour tasting red fruits appear in late autumn, it can grow to 8 metres in height and its pollen has been found in peat bogs dating back over 4,000 years.
Ash – Fuinseóg – Fraxinus Excelsior is easily recognised in winter by its prominent paired black buds and in autumn by its winged fruits. Casting a light shade, Ash can grow to a height of 30 metres; its seeds are popular food for a number of bird species. Of course the ash is used to manufacture the best Hurley’s.
Aspen – Crann Creathach – Populus Tremula in ideal locations Aspen can reach a height of twenty metres, generally however aspen will reach about ten metres in height. It is a deciduous tree with a distinctive branching pattern, which is most visible in winter when the tree is leafless. At first leaves are a copper colour, turning green in summer and brilliant yellow, or sometimes red in the autumn. Don’t plant near buildings or service ducts.
Blackthorn / Sloe – Draighean – Prunus Spinosa flowers before the leaves appear, then in autumn blue-black sloes are produced. Blackthorn tolerates shade, is suitable for planting into hedgerow gaps, and rarely grows over six metres. It does not like wet conditions.
Bird Cherry – Crann Creathach – Populus Tremula is a rare deciduous tree and can be expected to reach a height of 15 metres.
Crab Apple – Crann Fia-úll – Malus Sylvestris again reasonably rare, but where growing will attract lots of wildlife, growing to a height of 10 Mts.
Downey Birch – Beith Ghlúmhach – Betula Pubescens is somewhat similar to Silver Birch but with downy twigs, grows at a slower rate than Silver Birch, eventually reaching a height of 18 mts.
Goat Willow – Saileach Dubh – Salix Caprea this tree flowers early and provides pollen and nectar for bees and is usually home to a large number of insects, caterpillars, beetles, bugs, and aphids feed on the leaves, catkins, buds and bark of willows. Relatively fast growing can reach a height of 10 Mts. and will grow well in wet or damp habitats. However it should NOT be planted near buildings or service ducts.
Hawthorn / Whitethorn – Sceach Gheal – Crataegus Monogyna with its dense leaves, it’s distinctive white blossom and thorny with short trunk with a, strong scent and red berries (haws) which are an important food source for wild birds, probably one of the most common deciduous trees in Ireland, and can grow to a height of 15 Mts.
Hazel – Coll – Corylus Avellana is rich in insect life, thus providing a source of nutrition for a wide selection of birdlife; the fruit (nuts) are also a source of food for some small mammals.
Holly – Cuileann – Ilex Aquifolium is somewhat endangered tree in the wild and supports a large crop of red berries making the holly an excellent tree for wildlife. Can grow up to 15 metres in height and thrives best when planted under some shade.
Mountain Ash / Rowan – Caorthann – Sorbus Aucuparia is commonly seen throughout Ireland and can grow to a height of 10 metres. Rowan is fast growing and produces a large crop of red / scarlet berries which are consumed by Thrushes and Blackbirds.
Oak – Dair – The oak is a symbol of Cill Dara (Dair = Oak) and is NOT suitable for residential areas other than in very large green areas as it can grow into a very large tree possibly 40 metres in height. There are two species in Ireland – both rich in insect life providing food for many bird species.
- The Sessile Oak – Dair Ghaelach – Quercus Petraea is Ireland’s national tree is the more common oak tree in Ireland. Its leaves grow on a long and produce their acorns with little or no stalk;
- The Pedunculate Oak – Dair Ghallda – Quercus Robur the leaves grow directly from the branch with its acorns attached to an obvious stalk.
Sally – Saileach – Salix Cinerea can be described as a tall shrub or small tree, generally growing to a maximum of 10 metres high, generally branching from the base.
Silver Birch – Beith Gheal – Betula Pendula is a fast growing deciduous tree, which can reach a height of 20 metres. It is distinguished by its drooping twigs hanging down from its main branches and by its scaly bark peeling exposing black patches. Its catkins are yellowish and shed masses of tiny winged blown seeds in autumn.
Scots Pine – Péine Albanach – Pinus Sylvestris is the only pine tree native to Ireland. However it will grow into a very large tree up to 30 metres, and is not suitable for roadside locations.
Whitebeam – Fionncholl – Sorbus Hibernica are relatively small deciduous trees, the undersides of the leaves are a silvery colour. They produce white flowers in May and red berries in autumn.
Wild Cherry – Crann Silín Fiáin – Prunus Avium is not suitable for roadside planting – the roots are very shallow, a deciduous tree needs which needs a lot of light, and is susceptible to frost damage in spring.
Wych Elm – Leamhán Sléibhe – Ulnus Glabra is the only species of Elm native to Ireland; a deciduous tree which is spread by seed. Wych Elm is relatively rare confined principally to hillsides and remote areas.
Yew – Iúr – Taxus Baccata is evergreen and native to Ireland and has been growing here for thousands of years, and can grow to about 20 metres and has a dark-brown or reddish bark.