Since its inception in 1985, National Tree Week has been responsible for planting over
half a million trees in Ireland.
Coillte works hand in hand with the Tree Council of Ireland facilitating the supply and distribution
of trees via county councils. to communities nationwide.
A week-long programme of events to celebrate all things trees!
commemorative launch of
national tree week,
Botanic gardens, sunday 19th march
Launching National Tree Week 2023, Minister for State, Pippa Hackett said:
“I am so pleased to support the launch of Tree Week, an incredibly worthy and fun tradition that communities across
the country have grown to enjoy. We know that planting trees is one of the most effective methods of tackling
climate change and contributes to improved biodiversity, water quality and well-being.
I commend The Tree Council of Ireland and Coillte for supporting the Government’s mission to plant trees and
inspiring people throughout our island to care for our woodlands.’
Highlighting the importance of Tree Week, President of the Tree Council of Ireland, Éanna Ní Lamhna said:
“As we launch National Tree Week with the theme of ‘Biodiversity Begins with Trees,’ let us remember that trees are not just beautiful and essential to our environment, but they have the biggest role to play in slowing down biodiversity loss. It is our responsibility to plant and protect trees, not only for ourselves but for future generations.’
Speaking about Coillte’s role in National Tree Week, Coillte CEO, Imelda Hurley, said:
“National Tree Week gives people the opportunity to learn more about the importance of trees and their vital
contribution to Ireland’s climate and biodiversity agendas and Coillte is delighted to continue to support
this important initiative. We’d encourage people to check out the list of events happening in their communities
throughout the week and to get involved in some tree-based fun for all ages.”
Events of 2023 marking
National Tree Week
begins with Trees
What is Biodiversity?
Biodiversity is a term that is used to describe both the diverse kinds of life that exist as well as the variety of ecosystems.
Animals, plants, fungi, protists and bacteria make up our natural world. Each of these species works together to maintain balance and support life on Earth.
The greater the range and number of species, the more biodiverse the area, ergo the healthier the ecosystem. And so too, the more diverse the ecosystems are in an area, the greater the diversity of living things.
Biodiversity supports everything in nature that we humans need to survive like food and clean water. It enriches our lives. We love to use every chance we can get to be close to nature, to sit and absorb and feel our mental and physical health repair.
But humans have put increasing pressure on our planet. We use and consume more resources than ever before which risks upsetting the balance of fragile ecosystems and risks our planet losing its biodiversity.
Just take a moment to imagine the intricate network of life happening all around us, value its importance and realise the part we all must play to ensure its continuation.
Biodiversity is usually explored at three levels - genetic diversity, species diversity and ecosystem diversity.
It is these three levels that work together to create the complexity of life on Earth.
Biodiversity loss refers to the decline or disappearance of biological diversity on our planet. If the current trend is not slowed down and reversed, whole ecosystems will become extinct changing planet
Trees have the biggest role to play in slowing down biodiversity loss as they - through photosynthesis - provide food for the many animal food chains that depend on them as well as for the decomposers that ultimately break them down.
Biodiversity begins with Trees
Planting for Biodiversity
Good planning is the key to success!
Points to consider:
(i) What you want to achieve. For example, do you want to restore the original vegetation (including wetland areas)? Are you planting for a specific purpose like protecting a bird species or an ecosystem?
(ii) Is there any funding available to help you with your project?
(iii) Where do you want to plant? Is there existing vegetation or seed source that could be protected and enhanced?
(iv) Do you need to stage your project over multiple years? Will this make planting and later maintenance more manageable?
(v) What time and resources are available for planting and maintenance? For example, you need ongoing weed and pest control for at least 3 years until the plants are established.
The Right Tree in the Right Place
Trees work well when integrated into the landscape to complement and diversify existing land uses. Tree planting needs to be well planned by considering the long-term maintenance and end-use of the trees.
You need to match the right tree to
the right site. Consider, temperature, rainfall, wind exposure (including sea salt spray), shade, sunlight, drought conditions, soil type, ground conditions like sandy, swampy or dry, soil fertility (amount of nutrients in the soil) and acidity (pH levels), frost and snow and pests such as deer and rabbits.
You can find out what grows well where you live by contacting local councils and nurseries.
Look at what is growing well in neighbouring areas. Identify the environmental factors that your plants will need to deal with.
For example, soil type, terrain and climate conditions like annual rainfall, drought conditions and wind.
Aim to start with at least six or seven different species to start. Once they are established add more to the mix.
Biodiversity begins with Trees
Trees for Birds
Trees provide birds with at least three very important factors for survival; food, shelter and a nesting habitat.
Birds spread seeds and help with forest regeneration.
Planting different species give birds many options to suit their preferences.
Trees for Bees
Trees provide an important food source for bees. Catkins on hazel and willow provide welcome pollen in Spring for bees collecting to feed growing youngsters.
Flowering trees with nectar and pollen such as blackthorn, hawthorn, elder, rowan and indeed horse chestnut and lime are immensely valuable to bees and other insects throughout the late spring and early summer.
You need to plant a range of species that flower at different times so there is a food source for as long as possible throughout the year.
Bees can visit up to 1,500 flowers per day to collect nectar beating their wings two hundred times a second. No wonder a worker bee dies of exhaustion after
only six weeks!
Trees for Waterways
Planting along waterways provides a buffer strip that can improve water quality and habitats.
Trees provide shading along waterways to restrict aquatic plant and algae growth and help to lower water temperature to levels native fish can tolerate.
They are particularly important for kingfishers who use overhanging branches as perches to fish from and make their nests in tunnels supported by the tree roots
in the river bank.
Tree planting is one thing but the list is varied of ways to celebrate National Tree Week.
You are only limited by imagination!
IDEAS TO CELEBRATE TREES! 😁🌳
During National Tree Week everyone is encouraged to take a moment in time and visit one of our numerous woodlands to explore the wonderful world of trees!
There are so many marvellous forests throughout Ireland that
one is spoilt for choice.
We have drawn up a list of just some to consider...