National Tree Day is organised annually on the first Thursday of October by the
Tree Council of Ireland and our partner SPAR.
Primary schools around the country are invited to spend the day learning about trees, to appreciate and enjoy the planet we all live on.
Each year a theme is chosen for the campaign which promotes trees and the vital part they play
in our environment and each year, a different native Irish tree is featured.
It is an important date in the school calendar and it has been enthusiastically supported by children, teachers and parents alike
providing an opportunity to put down the school books and get outdoors!
The campaign’s mascot Sammy Squirrel shares simple messages to help children understand that they can be a positive
influence on our environment.
They know they can give our planet and Mother Nature a helping hand by planting lots and lots of trees!
To that end, up to 2,000 native tree saplings are made available through our campaign website (treeday.ie) for primary schools
around Ireland to plant on their grounds or in a pot in the classroom.
Hazel / Coll
As you know nuts are my favourite food so I am delighted that my favourite tree – the hazel tree- has been chosen this year. This tree is very common in Ireland and the hazelnuts are ripe by August. So, there may be very few left on the hazel trees near you, as us squirrels are great at gathering them as soon as they are ripe and ready to eat. We have to be quick because the field mice love them too!
Check out our sister website to learn all about the Hazel Tree and get a free sapling for your school for
SPAR National Tree Day!
How to take care of your sapling when it arrives...
1. Open the bag as soon as it arrives to let in some air.
2. The important thing is that the roots do not dry out. If the roots dry, the plant will die. Therefore, remove the sapling from the bag and dip the roots in water to moisten. Do not leave sitting in the water.
3. Put the roots of the sapling back into the bag so as to retain the moisture until you are ready to plant. Keep checking them daily.
4. If it going to be any longer than three days till planting, trench it into spare ground or put it into a pot until you have found its permanent home. Do not disturb the sapling again until January when it can be removed and planted in its permanent location.
5. Using a spade, remove the grass or top sod from the soil. Dig a hole that is bigger than the size of the roots.
6. Place a layer of compost into the hole and then place the sapling on top. Ensure the stem of the tree is above the level of the ground. Using your hands, crumble the soil and cover the roots. Gently compact the soil into place. Water slowly.
7. Water once a week until the frost arrives.
8. Then watch your sapling grow!
On SPAR National Tree Day everyone is encouraged to take time off and visit one of Ireland's numerous woodlands and parks.
Or explore the trees growing on your own school grounds!
What to do on a Nature Walk...
Lift a fallen branch to see the number of insects that have made it their home.
Look around the base of the tree and see what is growing or what has fallen from the tree.
Gather interesting items like pinecones, bark and seeds.
Draw pictures or make leaf prints or take bark rubbings.
Note that different trees have different bark, stems, leaves, buds, fruits and flowers.
a. Some leaves are simple (one leaf on a stem) e.g. hazel, oak, birch, beech, maple, holly etc.
b. Some leaves are compound, many leaves on one stem e.g. Rowan, willow, ash, elder.
c. Some leaves are lobed eg. Sycamore.
Identify the different parts of the tree - trunk, bark, roots, leaves, branches, stem.
Check the differences between trees standing alone and trees in hedgerows.
Look at the different species of trees. Identify which are native to Ireland and which are not.