About our Sponsorship Scheme
Your trees in the woodlands of Mother Nature
Our woodlands, which have grown from the sponsorship of trees, are years in the making. We, at the Tree Council of Ireland, source the land used for these woodlands which is usually institutional, government or farmland.
In order to create these forests, it firstly involves the preparation of the site, by contractors where necessary. It may need to be fenced to protect against damage by deer and livestock.
Sapling trees are then sourced, staked, protected by a tree guard and finally tagged by our volunteer site managers. They are kept free of competing vegetation until they reach "free-grown" stage with the forest to ensure that they survive long after the project is finished. Up to 10 years of age we endeavour to replace any fallen or damaged trees.
Our aim with these woodlands is to give the best possible start to ensure longevity and to subsequently return them to nature. These are not commercial forests but natural habitats that otherwise would not exist and are now there in perpetuity.
These woodlands look wild because they are being allowed to develop unhindered, with all the natural richness and ecological diversity that this entails. Management intervention is minimal except to control invasive species which may compete aggressively with, for instance, an establishing oak tree or to control something that may cause a significant habitat change or loss of other species.
At present, the ground layer is mainly made up of a variety of ferns, grasses and herbaceous plants which provide shelter and
nourishment for a wide variety of birds, small mammals and insects. Deadwood and fallen trees are also retained as important habitats supporting a wide range of specialised insects and fungi.
Mature, native woodlands are one of our most highly valued habitats for the wealth of wildlife associated with them. We gratefully acknowledge the support of all those who have sponsored trees to make a positive contribution to the environment and to leave an enduring legacy for future generations.
The sponsorship of a tree is more than the tree itself. It is part of a project as a whole that is initially financed by ourselves and subsequently recouped. It also allows us to continue to promote a tree culture in Ireland which we started in 1985.
We receive no government funding and so we are financed by the projects like this that we undertake.
Until recently, the Tree Council had other sites including a woodland at Muckross Forest in Killarney, Strokestown House in
Co. Roscommon, Birr Castle in Co. Offaly and Larch Hill in Co. Dublin which have all reached capacity for new trees.
However, existing trees can still be visited by appointment.
Visitors are asked to please note that when visiting these forest areas you are entering a
natural habitat with the aim to leave as it is found.
We recommend that strong, supportive footwear be worn.
Access may be limited at certain times of the year depending on weather and ground conditions.
The woodlands planted are over time, managed by Mother Earth, and are left in perpetuity.
Up to 10 years of age we would endeavour to replace any fallen trees.
It is after that the forest would be left to its own devices and returned to nature with all the
rules of nature and diversity that entails.
What happens when I sponsor a tree?
Every year we source sapling trees that are subsequently planted, staked, and sleeved for protection. The tree planting season is roughly from November to March.
When the saplings have proven that they will survive, they are tagged by our volunteer site manager according to the sponsorship we receive. This tagging is done on a year-round schedule and on a voluntary basis, so we don’t have exact information as to when each tree is tagged.
When can I visit my tree?
When you sponsor a tree, you are issued with a certificate stating the registration number of the tree issued to you.
You can visit your tree by arranging an appointment with our volunteer site managers who will be happy to help you locate your tree.
The contact details will be included with the certificate.
Is there year-round access?
Yes, but be aware that some places may be inaccessible at certain times of the year and visiting can be hampered by weather. It is also important to be mindful of the surroundings, leaving the area as it is found.
Strong supportive footwear is recommended.
What species of trees are planted?
Native Irish trees are planted which include primarily alder, birch, hazel, willow and oak with the latter being the most common.
Each tree that is planted is done in accordance with which area of the woodland that they will most thrive.
Can I have trees planted together?
Generally, trees that are sponsored and registered together are tagged together.
Can I have a different variety of trees planted together?
We would try to accommodate that wish. It would depend on the area of planting as to what types of trees would survive.
Can I plant the tree myself?
Unfortunately, no. The tree that would be tagged in your name would have already been planted as they are tagged when they are considered viable.
Who maintains the woodland forest?
The forests planted are managed by Mother Earth and are left in perpetuity. Up to 10 years of age we would endeavour to replace any fallen trees.
After that, the forest would be left to its own devices and returned to nature with all the rules of nature and diversity that entails.
What is the lifespan of a tree?
It depends on the type of tree. Alder generally survive for 60 years, hazel approximately 80 years and birch for roughly 140 years.
Oak trees known to survive to 800 years or more!