Featured

FAQs


Thanks for looking us up! We are Generation Restoration! Our project has been working in association with Crann, Trees for Ireland for some years now. We have been collaborating since 2015 with the Tree Council of Ireland, and more recently with Coillte, the Dept. of Agriculture and the Marine and many other supporters and supporting communities to help “kickstart” new community tree planting all over the country as part of our Plant-for-the-Planet children’s challenge to plant 1M trees by 2023. Here are some of our frequently asked questions so we can…

#stoptalkingstartplanting !

How to Care for Bare Root Trees?

How to Care for Bare Root Trees – Easy Treesie!

Q; We have bare root trees but now can’t plant them, help!

You can heel them in asap

Link here; https://www.ashridgetrees.co.uk/gardening-advice/fruit-tree-advice/heeling-in

or plant them in pots in compost. Also asap. Or give them out to people/neighbours/relatives for their gardens/farms etc. which is even better as planting in ground is best of all – they don’t always all survive heeling in. Make a list of all the locations your trees are distributed for adding to the map later. Just keep the roots moist in the meantime.

If you plant them in large pots (or in buckets…can be 3 to a pot…sometimes chippers have free oil or mayonnaise buckets) they are easier to keep watered than in small pots. 

Q; What kind of trees do we plant?

Good trees or bad trees?

A; Hah!We say “Right tree in the right place”. No such thing as a bad tree
folks, is what we say. We count oak and silver birch, downy birch and alder,
holly and Scot’s pine, hawthorn and rowan among the roll call of our young
trees”. Native species trees are about 90 per cent or more of what we have
planted so far; usually grown in Irish nurseries. All our saplings distributed
and planted in the 2020-2021 season were Irish-grown natives with the exception
of one batch of Hawthorn which originated in the UK as we were not able to
source enough on the island of Ireland for demand last year of this (native)
species. We have planted some half-standard and standard trees not on the
natives list; apple, damson, pear (Marian Hostel and Scoil Mhuire sites,
Tullamore) and some Corsican Pine (in consultation with local tree expert Don
Brasil, chosen for the history of this species going back over 100 years at the
site on Carlingford Lough and for its suitability to the climatic conditions
featuring harsh, salty sea breezes.) In previous years we have planted an
avenue of trees lime (Fermoy, an avenue in collaboration with local schools,
beekeepers and Tidy Towns), horse chestnut, beech (Malahide Castle demesne,
renewing the canopy now losing many of these old species to storms), sycamore
(Baldoyle, St. Nessan’s School) and maple and red oak during our Science Week
2019 initiative countrywide for colour and fun. Children love to plant the
maple-syrup tree!

We’ve planted these other common “naturalised” Irish trees such as beech,
horse chestnut, maple, lime and sycamore as they add to the climate resilience of
our woodlands and hedgerows. Sycamore for example is much loved by bees even
though it is not on our natives list. (My husband really dislikes sycamore, the
leaves that fall into our pond are a problem to fish out. We’ve been making
violins for a long time out of sycamore in Ireland do you know. My daughter’s
violin dating from the 1800s is made of sycamore and has been played by my
daughter and myself and my aunt when we were children, and a great – uncle,
that is 4 generations we know of, it sounds very sweet!). We like variety; the
genetic base of Ireland’s 28 natives is very narrow as they came over
originally on a land bridge/windborne after the Ice Age and spread across the
country, it leaves them very vulnerable to wipe-out from disease and/or climate
change. This is happening to our Ash currently with dieback, as happened to Elm
and Scots Pine in the past. Our Number 1 sponsor is Coillte Nature whose
nurseries in Carlow do a superb job and have supplied really first-rate
saplings. We can’t guarantee any particular mix, this year 2022-23 we are
providing either saplings that will grow big (woodland mix), will end up
smaller (hedgerow mix) or a combination. If you want particular species then
why not organise them yourself from a local nursery, we use what we can get our
hands on. Growing from local seed is also a great thing to do if you want to
try that. Re; bad trees – the Sitka Spruce and its cousins get a constant bad
press; we have not planted any Sitka Spruce yet; we do use paper and sit at wooden
desks and on wooden floors and….so we have no objection to such trees.
Variety is great, extensive monoculture is not recommended in any area of
growing things. The potato famine in Ireland taught us all about the folly of
relying excessively on one species alone!

When to plant?

It’s great to be sending out good news to our final groups as I write in April 2022 with the IPCC report in every paper this morning recommending tree planting. Is it too late in the year to plant? Well we have been working hammer-and-tongs getting deliveries out, we had a long waiting list to look after first from last year. These trees have been refrigerated after harvesting so they arrive to you in optimum condition. The only thing to watch for trees planted this late is to ensure you water them well on planting, again 3 weeks later and if there is a drought; more water – ideally from your rain barrel or grey water for sustainability. Schools have been prioritised to receive their allocations before holidays. 

When can we order?

Our orders have closed for the 2021-2022 season right now. We will re-open applications in Autumn 2022, first we have to go and see what trees we can make available. If you are in a hurry you can order potted trees at any time from a local nursery and if you want specific mixes then why not talk to a local nursery about ordering from them next Autumn. If you are a private landowner outside of co-operative groups be aware that we prioritise children planting on public lands and institutional planting with their communities so you will be last on our list and there is a good chance you will not be catered for. You can buy bare root saplings for as little as a euro in large quantities in some places or you can grow them from local seed for free which is even better. 

Can you send us free trees?

A; There is no such thing as a Free Tree as our collaborating nurseries here in Ireland have gone to great efforts growing saplings for us with Tender Loving Care. Having said that if you are interested in planting on public land such as local authority land, parks, roadsides, hospitals, institutions and school grounds then we have received sponsorship from some great people who want to help us. We can add you to our list and we will do our best to accommodate you! In return we ask that you commit to storing your trees in a cool place securely in their forestry bags making sure the roots stay moist, planting your trees within a few days and watering your trees until they get established which can be 2 years or so. Unless there is a lot of dry weather that task is not usually too tricky in Ireland. Last thing; protect them from Enemy No. 1; people with strimmers and mowers; as well as the issue where your trees are being engulfed by weeds which slow down the trees’ growth – you can trample on the weeds, pull the weeds and mulch is your friend and looks pretty too. These trees are donated to you for continuous cover woodland so while thinning or pruning may be appropriate at some stage these trees are not being planted as a crop for clear felling but as a permanent home for nature in your locality! We ask also that you provide the GPS co-ordinates for your planting site and share the love by telling your local and social media about our contribution to the #UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration; use #generationrestoration #restore #easytreesie hashtags please if you go in for that kind of thing. We really strimmer’s like to thank our sponsors and helpers so how about a shout out!

How Many Trees can I Ask For? Due to current licensing issues where 300 saplings or .1 of a hectare (the size of a big classroom) is the max size you can plant then we are taking orders for 100 – 300 saplings. Fits on the back of an adult bike if you have panniers or the front seat of a car in plastic bin-bag size bags.
Note; a new amendment was made in December 2021 to allow for the planting of up to 1ha (2,500 – 3k saplings) once they are of native varieties without planting in response to our and other groups advocating for an easing of the restrictions on planting. The amendment is currently awaiting an Environmental Assessment. We welcome this new amendment. Regulations still exist which are still highly restrictive in comparison to our European and UK neighbours. We continue advocating for improvements to this restriction to allow for an expansion both of the area planted and the species mix to allow for naturalised common Irish trees and mixed fruit orchards in diverse planting schemes to make provision for climate resilience and resistance to disease.

How soon will we know?

We often do not know until the last minute around Tree Week, late March

We will look for your first and last name, address and Eircode/postcode for your delivery, 2 phone numbers so that the van driver can reach you and does not have to wake us early in the morning or late at night if they cannot find where you are, an email address so we can contact you and how many you want in batches of 100. We will ask you to add them to our map as obviously we do not want to annoy the nurseries near you with people setting up some kind of shop lol. We are waiting to see what we can send this year. There has been a bit of a shortage of small-growing varieties that we like for hedgerow/understorey/garden varieties. We have planned with our sponsors for a greater variety of smaller-growing species in the upcoming seasons from 2023 onwards.

How do we plant the trees?

Guidelines; saplings are planted at 1.5m or 2m spacing, 2,500 – 3,000 per hectare is the recommended density. 250 – 300 fits in .1 of a hectare. The less the ground is disturbed, the less carbon is released so usually rotavating is not required. If sod is removed, if you replace the sod upside-down then this kills the grass. Watering is an important step to finish. Applying mulch after planting is very beneficial; a mat of cardboard under the mulch can supress weeds and assist growth. It also looks pretty. You may want to mark the saplings if there is a chance that an over-enthusiastic strimming or mowing team will remove all the new saplings. If using coloured tape or ribbon be very sure to come back and remove the tape or ribbon as the trees grow so that your new trees are not strangled! In areas with deer/rabbits etc. a tree guard is advisable or you may come back the following morning and all your saplings could be gone! Staking is not usually required for our saplings.

How long does it take to plant
300 trees?

We’ve been following the Plant-for-the-Planet Tree Academy template, planting 300 trees in 105 minutes. For this result we have say about 45 school children aged 8 – 12 and a dozen helping leaders and adults. If our youngsters are around 5th or 6th class, aged 11-12 or older then fewer adults are required. If the children are small, we have more adult helpers! This is for soft ground that is easy to dig, if the ground is hard then obviously it takes longer. Lately we have tried our former intern AB’s idea; have volunteers dig all the holes in advance; the children arrive, hold their sapling in the air all together, we blow a whistle and we plant say 50 in one go! This way works very well for us with smaller children as they do not require any tools and they can fill in the soil using gloved hands or they could use their boots, wellingtons or old ideally washable shoes such as runners to move the pile of dug-up soil in and firm down the sapling. (a spare pair of shoes is essential if they are going back to school) Working in pairs is also a good idea.

 

When will we add our trees to the UNEP Map?

The App is undergoing some refinements just now, we will email you with
simple instructions on how to add your planting to the world
Plant-for-the-Planet map so that we can monitor the trees’ progress and report
back to our sponsors.

Where do we plant trees?

We prioritise facilitating tree provision for permanent woodland
establishment on public lands. We always ensure we have permission from local
authorities/ landowners in writing before planting as well as a commitment to
see to the aftercare of the trees.

Can I just go out with my saplings and plant on my street, green or in the
countryside?

If you plan to risk “guerrilla planting” please do so at your own
expense. We have found local authorities and landowners most willing to
participate in our initiative and indeed have received financial support from 9
local authorities to date. Often there are plans for future development in
county plans/issues with drains/cables etc. which affect choice of planting
site. Would you like someone coming and planting things in your garden without
asking? The risk is great that the saplings will be removed by strimming etc.
unless your community planting is part of an agreed plan.

Do we supply hanging baskets or vegetables?

Ok that is not a frequently asked question but we were asked these two
questions in the last fortnight. When we have planted the million trees we plan
to plant more. At the end of the decade of restoration we will consider, with
the trillion trees planted worldwide, whether we want to then take on
vegetables or flowers. Lol. Best talk to the experts in these fields in the
meantime, e.g., Grow it Yourself Ireland, great organisation. Who incidentally
gave us a lot of help finding us orchard locations in Kilkenny!

#generationrestoration #restore

Do you plant fruit trees?

If you want fruit trees from us, we run competitions from time to time; these cost us €17.00 each minimum and so we use them for special occasions. Keep an eye on our social media for such offers. You would be quicker to organise them yourself but if you have a really really good case for an orchard email us at orla@easytreesie.com and we might be able to find a sponsor for your request.

Q; Can you send us free trees?

A; There is no such thing as a Free Tree as our collaborating nurseries here in Ireland have gone to great efforts growing saplings for us with Tender Loving Care. Having said that if you are interested in planting on public land such as local authority land, parks, roadsides, hospitals, institutions and school grounds then we have received sponsorship from some great people who want to help us. We can add you to our list and we will do our best to accommodate you! In return we ask that you commit to storing your trees in a cool place securely in their forestry bags making sure the roots stay moist, planting your trees within a few days and watering your trees until they get established which can be 2 years or so. Unless there is a lot of dry weather that task is not usually too tricky in Ireland. Last thing; protect them from Enemy No. 1; people with strimmers and mowers; as well as the issue where your trees are being engulfed by weeds which slow down the trees’ growth – you can trample on the weeds, pull the weeds and mulch is your friend and looks pretty too. These trees are donated to you for continuous cover woodland so while thinning or pruning may be appropriate at some stage these trees are not being planted as a crop for clear felling but as a permanent home for nature in your locality! We ask also that you provide the GPS co-ordinates for your planting site and share the love by telling your local and social media about our contribution to the #UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration; use #generationrestoration #restore #easytreesie hashtags please if you go in for that kind of thing. We really really like to thank our sponsors and helpers so how about a shout out!

How Many Trees can I Ask For? Due to current licensing issues where 300 saplings or .1 of a hectare (the size of a big classroom) is the max size you can plant then we are taking orders for 100 – 300 saplings. Fits on the back of an adult bike if you have panniers or the front seat of a car in plastic bin-bag size bags.

Note; a new amendment was made in December 2021 to allow for the planting of up to 1ha (2,500 – 3k saplings) once they are of native varieties without planting in response to our and other groups advocating for an easing of the restrictions on planting. The amendment is currently awaiting an Environmental Assessment. We welcome this new amendment. Regulations still exist which are still highly restrictive in comparison to our European and UK neighbours. We continue advocating for improvements to this restriction to allow for an expansion both of the area planted and the species mix to allow for naturalised common Irish trees and mixed fruit orchards in diverse planting schemes to make provision for climate resilience and resistance to disease.

How soon will we know

We often do not know until the last minute around Tree Week, late March

How do I get trees?

Please send me your first and last name, address and eircode/postcode for your delivery, 2 phone numbers so that the van driver can reach you and does not have to wake us early in the morning or late at night if they cannot find where you are, an email address so we can contact you and how many you want; 100-300 . We will ask you to add them to our map as obviously we do not want to annoy the nurseries near you with people setting up some kind of shop lol. We are waiting to see what we can send this year – there has been a bit of a shortage of small-growing varieties that we like for hedgerow/understorey/garden varieties so if you are particular you may be disappointed; when they’re gone they’re gone. We have planned with our sponsors for a greater variety of smaller-growing species in the upcoming seasons from 2023 onwards.

#generationrestoration #restore

“Trees and Woodlands on the Farm”- Join us for a Biodiversity Week Talk Online with Dr. Rory Harrington

Friday May 20th at 12 noon on Zoom; link below

We are so excited to be holding a talk with Dr. Rory Harrington, Senior Scientist at Waterford-based VESI Environmental Ltd. https://www.vesienviro.com/ . The talk, entitled “Trees and Woodlands on the Farm”, will take place online on Friday May 20th at 12 noon , in collaboration with Tree Council of Ireland. Rory has an eminent history of scholarship in this area, with two forestry degrees and a PhD. He has attended the renowned Yale School of Forestry and has had a long and illustrious career in many aspects of tree growing including wetland management for which he and his award-winning firm scooped their newest award this month, working with Kerry group.  Congra-TREE-lations Rory and team!

It’s an hour long talk (we could listen to Rory all day). We are thinking of it as a lunch-and-learn. We will be in conversation with Rory and with Tree Council of Ireland CEO Brendan Fitzsimons dealing with interesting aspects of re-foresting your farm…yes! Re-foresting! “Restore” is our call to you!

Where to site your trees?

What to plant?

Why to select these species?

Best methods of tree protection from attack!

I was very delighted to be asked to present a webinar during the National Tree Week series in March this year, following the success of our “Film Friday” event last year. For Covid reasons it had to be postponed which is how we are instead running it during National Biodiversity Week instead. While we have made several lovely new films during the year, with a new “Rethink Ireland” short film coming out soon, we thought we would hear from Rory since his expertise is unmatched. We were delighted to have a number of farmers’ co-operatives join in our project this year and thought they would enjoy Rory’s advice, especially as it is acknowledged to be an especially difficult time for farmers to commence tree projects at present due to recent changes in permissions required.

Here is the link to the webinar; https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/5316524622216/WN_cB7bO7AxQ_qY6cmO6qxQfA

For any further details of the online link please email orla@easytreesie.com with BIODIVERSITY WEEK WEBINAR in the Subject line.

We are very grateful to the Irish Environmental Network for their support for this event.

See you there!

Join us for a Walk and Weed!

Swords Woodland Association with Swords Tidy Towns and many local schools and their communities have been planting as part of our project at this site since November 2019. This was our first week of mass planting, when we planted 30,000 native saplings nationwide with the participation of the Tree Council of Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland. We are going to do some trampling of the weeds around these young trees planted by local school children over 2 years ago which will help the trees grow better. We work in association with Crann – Trees for Ireland and are very grateful for the support of Fingal County Council who have supported our project from the start. ..Any children joining us will require an adult chaperone. Please dress in clothes suitable for this activity; long trousers as we plan to trample weeds, stout boots and while we will provide gloves you may prefer to bring your own. All aspects of this event follow all Covid-19 national guidelines.

Join us tomorrow, let’s stomp on those weeds! Yes we love #weeds, they are competing for nutrients with our new #nativesaplings so we are just doing a little maintenance, not disturbing the soil in preparation for some mulching. It’s been very dry so this will help retain moisture. Go trees! In Association with Crann – Trees for Ireland Tree Council of Ireland Thanks to the Irish Environmental Network for their support

What do YOU think?

WE ARE MAKING ANOTHER FILM TOMORROW! So exciting. I went looking for my key messages and found this testimonial I wrote for Aileen O Meara who has been a great help to me. Unfortunately she is not around this week, busy elsewhere or I would be asking her to work out the key messages with me for tomorrow’s film. I am off to Limerick, we have coffee in the staff room at 8 o clock in the morning Coláiste Chiaráin, Croom. I am packing the car! I have so much stuff because there are more things happening afterwards. I’ll have to think of my messages myself on the way!

Being prepared, I do like that…

Why is key messaging useful?

I wrote this back just after our Science Week initiative! “Aileen O Meara’s key messaging coaching was so very useful. I was appearing on national TV at very short notice in a National Science Week event we were spearheading, to plant 30,000 trees nationally in a week. Furthermore I was appearing with a class of youngsters I didn’t know who were coming out with me to plant some trees. I had 5 minutes to prepare the children for the live-to-camera piece. We had the Lord Mayor of Dublin AND the head of Science Foundation Ireland with us. The piece was also very long – around 9 minutes in 3 segments on TVAM. I was so grateful I had the key messages – WRITTEN DOWN. It meant I could concentrate on my logistics…unloading trees, gloves, putting on the boots etc. and best of all chatting to the participants. In the end the reporter only interviewed the children which suited me very well; they had received the briefing that Aileen had prepared with me and the event was a big success with all concerned. 

On another occasion my TV appearance was on RTÉ’s Today with Dáithi and Maura. AND it was in Cork. Live. My mother was from Cork, all my relations are from Cork! So there was a certain amount of pressure. The logistics of the day were very elaborate; I was transporting spades and gloves from Dublin. A picnic from Ballymaloe. We were partnering with Birdwatch Ireland on Harper’s Island Wetland Centre as well as Carrigtwohill’s Scoil Clochar Mhuire, children from the home schooled community, the local Tidy Towns organisations and members of the school Board, Cork County Council and the Men’s Sheds . I had a one-hour session with the class the previous day to prepare them. I was so glad that I had attended Aileen O Meara’s training in key messaging. Not only was I interviewed but many of the children were too. On the day two film crews were in attendance as well as a photographer from The Paper (The Examiner). Because I had done Aileen’s training I could really relax and enjoy the day. I felt very well prepared and confident and this event really put our Easy Treesie million tree project in the public eye. “

Thank you Aileen and see you soon. Friends out there, if you have done anything with us and liked it, please send us a testimonial, even a line or two at orla@easytreesie.com.

Today is deadline to have your say on Forestry Strategy

https://foreststrategy.consultation.ie/en/surveys?fbclid=IwAR3ANYmEqXm88I-ZLEqiOc3OQqhtPMaggjMCBi0o1rnxnZs1mWwD8PkthiM

We sent in some thoughts…what do you think?

We didn’t get a copy of the survey but fortunately I kept a lot of the answers if you want to guess the questions…

I’d like to see Ireland have more forests because…(tell us if we missed a few! )

They capture carbon

They clean the air

They provide habitats

They are required for resources e.g. timber for building, paper

They provide recreational opportunities such as hiking, walking

They mitigate climate crisis effects such as flooding

  • They anchor soil preventing erosion

They provide shelter

They assist with food security e.g. providing fruit, nuts for human, and animal/bird/insect etc. species

Trees are proven to be important for physical as well as mental health benefits

Planting trees is a symbolic and practical action to combat climate change

We have a duty to offset national carbon emissions

Climate crisis will not be solved without planting trees

Forests provide employment

Forests for tackling Climate Change and enhancing Biodiversity

Ireland has declared both climate and biodiversity emergencies and has committed to become a climate neutral country by 2050. The Government sees forestry as part of the solution for both issues.

When managed sustainably, forest and trees can make a significant contribution to climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and for storing carbon in trees and in long lived timber products. They can also make a significant contribution to biodiversity and environmental protection.

Though  enhancing Biodiversity is vital, CO2 reduction is a priority. If you have ever had to deal with a baby with a high temperature, you know that reducing the temperature is vital. An overheating car? – bring down the temperature. Unless the temperature is brought down efforts to improve biodiversity can only do so much. The goal during the UN decade on Ecosystem restoration is the planting of a trillion trees worldwide. This will bring down global temperature which will buy 17 years of time to address lasting solutions. Of course decarbonising the economy will have to happen in tandem with this approach. Ireland has space to double its canopy without affecting food production or protected lands. We can easily plant 1 billion trees in the republic of Ireland during this decade, one thousandth of the global target. Ireland has more scope to do this than any other country in Europe. See our plan put together with Gerhardt Gallagher, technical advisor to the Tree Council of Ireland on our series, TEDxCrannTreesforIreland 2021.

Forests for People
There is a growing appreciation of the importance of forests for health, wellbeing and recreation with 29 million visits to Irish forests every year.

Privately owned forests can only easily facilitate access if they are not likely to be sued. It is unfair to expect them to do this without addressing this insurance issue. Outdoor learning can take place in urban treescapes also, not just forests. Urban areas are very important in the improvement of Ireland’s tree canopy. Areas such as Dublin docklands have been developed with only the most scant of tree provision. In the “15 minute city” a park within a 15-minute walk is recommended. Many of our urban parks and greens consist of broad sweeps of mowed monoculture grass and parks tend to be operating on skeleton staff. Very few local authorities have tree officers. In many European countries cycle paths are separated from vehicular traffic with linear parks of trees instead of hard landscaping, this is a good option when roads are being re-done.

The Right Trees

According to the National Forest Inventory  approximately 11 % of the land area of Ireland is covered in forest. Approximately 73 % of this is dominated by non-native tree species and the remaining 27 % by broadleaf tree species.  

  David Attenborough is on record as saying that we need both forests left for nature AND sustainably managed tree farms. We need a big increase in all kinds of trees including lots of common Irish trees not on the “native” list, though naturalised such as lime, beech, sycamore etc. Most of the landowners we know with large areas of native woodland they planted themselves only did so because they enjoy them and report little market for these trees. There is little grant support to grow them. They could afford to grow them only as a hobby. It is clear from the preamble to this question with words used such as “dominated by non-native tree species” that replies to this survey are being steered away from conifer planting. Conifers capture carbon winter AND summer and so have special value for carbon capture. Corn is not native, nor is the potato, nor the tomato etc.; why single out trees alone for opprobrium ?

Making it easier for landowners to plant forests through a streamlined regulatory process above; the current regulatory process has resulted in the missing of our national tree planting targets.  Following John Fitzgerald’s advice and scrapping this process, allowing the EPA to take over and instead treating trees like other crops except better for this reason; needing  permission to plant more than a bag of 300 trees on .1 of ha makes everyone question our seriousness about climate action when they hear this. Especially people we deal with abroad. It is like needing a license to not-wear-makeup or a license to grow your hair or a beard.  As in hair is what grows for most people if they leave things to nature. Trees will grow when the land is left be in around four fifths of all Ireland’s landmass, it is the default state. A 15k zone around protected sites where no planting is permitted rules out vast swathes of the country and is a much greater restriction than in other similar jurisdictions.

This vision strikes us as being completely challenging to achieve without dropping the current regulatory  system with its reported delays of sometimes several years for routine requests to be processed. Re; ” the improvements in management evident under the 2014-2020 Forestry Programme. ” As far we are aware during the 2014-2020 Forestry Programme there has been a reversal of the rate of tree planting in Ireland since for example the 1990s if state statistics are accurate.  We are unaware of any standout improvements. The timber industry has been reported widely as having gone into reverse mode. Our saplings were being exported to Scotland in 2021 or ploughed under since farmers could not obtain permission to plant. The sawmills are struggling as is the building industry. A Crann member and great tree-lover sold his forest as he could not get a thinning license when he needed it and he lost 5,000 euro in revenue for that reason. This stipulation, more restrictive than anywhere we are aware of in the world of needing licensing for over .1 of a ha of planting, the size of my front garden is an example of how if one were designing a way to stop anyone planting a tree it would be the current regulatory stranglehold. I know of one tree planter who is reduced to planting saplings in wellington boots for school graduations as his previous planting business has folded. We know of another highly qualified project manager who had great ambitions for planting for carbon offsetting and gave up after 2 years of trying to secure permissions. Ash dieback will lead to our having a landscape even worse hit than the 1980s scourge of Dutch Elm disease with 80% of our main hedgerow tree expected to succumb. We have heard reports that hedgerows have been ripped up wholesale and reduced to stumps in some cases this has been instigated by local authorities with an “either you cut them down or we will” approach.  Healthy trees are often disregarded and felled because of the apparent notion by some in the insurance industry that the only good tree is a felled tree. People are afraid to plant a tree looking at TV insurance ads with trees falling on houses and cars as if this was a major threat when the much more common threats e.g. of flooding, high winds and drought can be mitigated by trees. Even the North of Ireland has far better tree protection than we have in the Republic of Ireland. The emphasis on native tree planting leads to decision making counter to sensible addressing of climate action. I further support the views submitted by Dr. Rory Harrington, Crann – Trees for Ireland and the Tree Council of Ireland. I went against proposals above to set up more commissions and committees. Simplifying tree planting and rewarding this good behaviour is the way forward. Pay farmers the same as what they are paid to raise cattle when growing trees. No farmer in a country like ours where famine is central in our history can feel at ease signing over a family farm in perpetuity. A very good crop can be grown in 20 to 30 years with many species. Forever is an unfair clause to have to agree to and may be imprudent as who can see the future. Also why cut off a subsidy after 15 years? Restricting species to the narrow genetic pool of our native 28, now reduced due to the absence of ash and elm to 26 without a rational basis seems damaging and defy logic. We’ve heard reports where beautiful mature beech trees were removed for the sole reason that the native woodland grant would not be allowable with such trees on the site. Given that our indigeneous species are under severe stress and becoming more so under increasing unusual climate patterns this insistence on restricting grant aid for certain grants to a narrow list of native trees seems damaging. We question the constitutionality of a requirement to sign over land in perpetuity. It is self evident that this requirement will ensure low uptakes of planting by land owners.

Thoughts on Rewilding as best practice; sounds great in theory; in practice, it appears that it can take a very long time to establish forest/woodland which would be fine if we had centuries to sort the climate. It is an urgent matter though, the climate. A danger with rewilding I’ve heard is that you will get a lot of invasive species or whatever is local which may not have much variety, e.g. all sycamore.