Image by Nikita Barskov

National Tree Week 2021
A Virtual Event!

Sunday 21st March to Saturday 27th March 2021

Due to the circumstances surrounding Covid-19, with the restrictions on travel and limitations on gatherings, we are mindful of the logistics involved with National Tree Week this year.

In normal times we would be promoting the lots of wonderful planting events that would take place during National Tree Week. But we know that this year everything must proceed on a more low-key basis.

Due to the kind sponsorship by Coillte, we are still in a position to distribute sapling trees to each of the County Councils who apply. Therefore, if you are engaging in a tree-related activity, please contact your County Council or Local Authority to obtain trees. (Environment Dept./Heritage Dept./Parks Dept.)

Note, trees are supplied on a first-come-first-served basis.

Please follow all the government guidelines in respect of Covid-19 especially in respect of group activities.

Tree Week 2021 Logo
Image by Matt Botsford
Thank you to everyone who hosted and to those who joined our webinars for National Tree Week.
See you next year!
Links below to Webinar Recordings produced by the Tree Council of Ireland for National Tree Week
All recordings will be available on our YouTube channel
(Please like and subscribe!)
Tuesday 23rd March 2021
Thursday 25th March 2021
Wednesday 24th March 2021
Friday 26th March 2021
Forest Path
Photography Competition


Thank you to everyone who took part in our photography competition.

We had so many wonderful entries, more than five hundred, that choosing the winners was extremely difficult. But choose we did and we think you'll agree that they are worthy winners.

Katie Holten’s Irish Tree Alphabet allows us to write in Irish Trees. Her art explores language and the environment to highlight the importance of our words and the stories that we tell.


Katie has made drawings of trees, existing natives as well as non-native trees that are now calling Ireland home due to the changing climate. Each tree replaces a letter in the Latin alphabet; A = Ailm (Scots Pine), B = Beith (Birch), C = Coll (Hazel), etc. The result is a new Irish Tree Alphabet and font called Irish Trees. 


The project finds its roots in the Ogham alphabet, a medieval alphabet used primarily to write the early Irish language. Ogham's characters or letters were called feda "trees" or nin "forking branches" due to their shape.

For National Tree Week we invite you to send a message using the Irish Tree Alphabet.

Try it out now!

Download the Irish Tree Alphabet Colouring Book


The oldest tree in the world is a bristlecone pine growing in the White Mountains in California, estimated to be over 4,600 years old. Another bristlecone pine tree nearby was discovered to be 5,100 years old when it was killed by a graduate student who cut it down as part of his research project!

The rarest tree in the world is the Wallemi pine which only grows in a tiny area made up of two small groves of mature trees and seedlings found in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia. Discovered and named in 1994, these Woodlands have survived in a secluded valley for millions of years. They are protected by the Australian government, and a specimen is now growing in the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin Dublin.

Ash is one of our most widely planted broadleaves. It has been used for centuries for making hurleys. One hectare of ash woodland can produce 3800 hurleys.

The oak tree was a symbol of strength and fertility and is considered to be the
King of trees.


The tallest tree in Ireland is a
Douglas fir at the Powerscourt Estate in Co. Wicklow -
56 metres in height!

The tallest tree in the world is a coast redwood in California. At 112 metres in height, it is almost as tall as the Spire in Dublin which is 120 metres high.

Trees are an important food source. We have apples, cherries, damsons, pears, plums, sloes and nuts available here but globally think of avocado, bananas, oranges, lemons, mangos peaches and many more. And where would we be without tea coffee and coconut trees?

The hawthorn is the fairy tree. It is extremely unlucky to cut down a lone hawthorn as the fairies will have their revenge.

A yew tree in Co. Wexford along with the Brian Boru Oak in Co. Clare are said to be 1,000 years old.

Clogs for the feet are made from the wood of the alder tree. Alder timber was originally used in the building of bridges across the canals in Venice because it is able to withstand the damp. Vessels used for holding milk were also made from alder.

Larch is a conifer grown in Ireland that sheds all its leaves or needles in the winter making it a deciduous conifer.

The Tree of Knowledge!

While most timber can float in water, Ebony wood, used for making black piano keys, will sink.

We can tell the age of a tree by counting the rings in a cross-section of a tree. Each ring represents one year’s growth. The rings reveal other aspects of the tree’s life as well. Wide rings mark years of good growth, with lots of mild and wet weather. Meanwhile, narrow rings tell us of cold years when growing conditions were poor, or when the tree was overshadowed by surrounding trees, and therefore unable to make food from sunlight.

The largest tree in the world is a giant Sequoia, found in the Sequoia National Park in California. It is only 83 metres tall but its volume is estimated at 1490 cubic metres making it a huge tree.

The rowan or mountain ash is a lucky tree. It was said that it will keep away witches if planted near a house, or will keep the dead from rising if planted on a grave.

Holly planted near the house protects it from lightning. The fairies like it too and you can annoy them if you misuse holly by, for instance sweeping the chimney with it

The birch tree was traditionally used to make babies’ cradles. It was very good at protecting babies from the fairies who might want to steal them.

Juniper is a native Irish evergreen. Its berries are used to flavour gin
.....and poitín.

The Arbutus or Strawberry tree is an evergreen tree that has flowers and fruit on it at the same time.

Co. Mayo is called after the Yew Tree - Maigh Eo. Bows were made from branches of yew up to the sixteenth century.


  • Click a cell on the crossword grid, or click a clue

  • Click twice on a cell to toggle between across and down

  • The active cell is highlighted in blue

  • Start typing in the word

  • Hit enter when you are done typing in the word

  • The word will turn green or red if you got it right or wrong

  • You can use the tab and shift-tab keys to move around the crossword, and the arrow keys

Now you know how trees are made...

Fred Schultz@fred035schultz