27May2024

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Clare to Celebrate ‘A Feast of Trees’ During National Tree Week

The week-long festival, which is being co-ordinated nationally by the Tree Council of Ireland, is aimed at encouraging members of the public to plant more trees. This year's theme is "A Feast of Trees" with a particular emphasis on planting trees that provide a food source for humans, birds, bees and other wildlife.

Clare Local Authorities will host two events during National Tree Week this year, namely the official launch of National Tree Week in Westbury in south-east Clare and the other at Lees Road Sports & Amenity Park in Ennis. Saplings and standard native trees are also being made available to local community groups. Meanwhile, the Woodland League & Centre for Environmental Living and Training in east Clare will hold a Woodland Walk & Talk on Sunday 3rd March at 2pm in Tuamgraney Community Wood and Raheen Ancient Oak Wood.

"While the Tree Council promotes awareness of trees all year round, National Tree Week gives us the opportunity to highlight a range of wonderful public woodlands and recreational facilities such as Lees Road Sports and Amenity Complex, Cratloe Woods, Dromore Woods Nature Reserve and Killaloe Woods," explained Mayor of Clare, Cllr Pat Daly.

The Mayor added: "I am urging community groups across Clare to plant trees in public areas during National Tree Week as they enhance and enrich our communities. Saplings and standard trees are available to community groups, who should contact staff in the Environment Section by 28th February to express their interest".

According to Joan Tarmey, Environmental Awareness Officer, Clare County Council, commented "By developing an interest in our local environment, we develop a sense of respect and responsibility. Research has shown that heightening our environmental awareness leads to reduced levels of litter/illegal dumping and ultimately a better place to live. I am urging people to participate in National Tree Week by attending an event near you, arranging a litter-pick in your local woodland, planting your own tree in your garden or by just going for a woodland walk".

Commenting on this year's theme of "A Feast of Trees", Ms. Tarmey said: "Trees have a strong role in providing food for humans, birds, bees and other wildlife. The range of foods from trees - fruit, nuts, seeds, oils, leaves, roots and bark will be highlighted along with the relationship between trees, bees, pollination and food crop production."

Mayor of Ennis Councillor Peter Considine commented "I am delighted that Clare Local Authorities is hosting a tree planting event at Lees Road Sports & Amenity Park. Pre-school children will participate in fun activities in the woodlands surrounding Lees Road Facility. I would urge the people of Ennis to get out for a walk in the woods or plant a fruit tree during Tree Week."

National Tree Week officially gets underway with a Tree Plantathon in Westbury Sunday, 3rd March at 12 noon. Local children and residents are encouraged to come along to help out. A second event will take place at Lees Road Sports & Amenity Park on Wednesday, 6th March where the Mayor of Ennis will help to plant a number of fruit trees as part of the Ennis Community Orchard project. As part of this event, a series of fun activities in the local woods will help to develop the children's respect and love for the environment.

A limited number of copies of the hugely successful 'Buds of the Banner – A Guide to Growing Native Trees and Shrubs in County Clare' will also be available. The guide provides practical advice and information on what, when and how to plant native trees and shrubs. It is also available on Clare County Council's website at www.clarecoco.ie.

To express your interest in availing of saplings and/or standard native trees, groups should contact staff in the Environment Section of Clare County Council on 065-6846331/6846386 by 28th February 2013. The number of trees available to groups will be based on overall demand. Saplings are sponsored by Coillte. Both saplings and standard trees should be collected from the Gardening Section, Cois na hAbhna in Ennis from the 4th - 6th March 2013 between the hours of 9.00am to 1.00pm and 1.45pm to 4.00pm. It will be necessary to have a trailer to transport trees.

For further information on National Tree Week, check out www.treecouncil.ie.

Tree Varieties for Fruit, Birds and Bees

The following are lists of trees, both native and ornamental, that are commonly stocked by garden centres to provide edible fruits as well as suggested trees for planting to make your garden a more attractive food source for birds, bees and other wildlife.

10 Fruit Trees

The following are some of the most popular varieties of fruit trees for planting in orchards and gardens.

  • Cooking Apple – popular varieties: Bramley's Seedling, Grenadier, Howgate Wonder, Lane's Prince Albert and more
  • Dessert Apple – popular varieties: Beauty of Bath, Charles Ross, Cox's Orange Pippin, Discovery, Elstar, James Grieve, Jonagold, Katy, Laxton's Superb, Lord Lambourne, Red Devil
  • Damson - popular varieties: Merryweather, Shropshire Prune
  • Pear - popular varieties: Beurre Hardy, Concorde, Conference, Doyenne du Comice
  • Cherry – popular varieties: Morello (cooking variety), Stella (sweet variety)
  • Plum – popular varieties: Czar, Victoria, Opal
  • Peach –varieties best suited to Irish climate: Amsden, Peregrine
  • Fig (Ficus carica) –varieties best suited to Irish climate: Brown Turkey
  • Hazelnut (Corylus avellana) – best varieties for quantity: Halls' Giant, Kentish Cob, Cosford Cob
  • Quince (Cydonia oblonga) –varieties best suited to Irish climate: Vranja, Lescovacz

10 Trees for Birds

Trees provide food for birds in the form of seeds, buds, nuts, berries or fruits or by supporting a rich variety of insects that are eaten by birds. Many also provide shelter, cover and nesting sites.

  • Alnus glutinosa (native alder) – seeds of female catkins are eaten by small birds like siskin
  • Betula pendula (native birch) – seeds of summer catkins eaten by small birds
  • Crataegus monogyna (native hawthorn) – berries (haws) eaten by many birds
  • Fagus sylvatica (beech) – mast is eaten especially by finches
  • Ilex aquifolium (native holly) – berries eaten by many birds
  • Pinus sylvestris (native Scot's pine) – seeds from cones eaten by finches, siskins and other small birds

Source: HortiTrends News Room