Initiatives

Family Tree Scheme

Every two days 800 square kilometres (about the size of Co. Louth) of forest cover are lost worldwide. Conversion to agricultural land, unsustainable harvesting of timber, unsound land management practices, and creation of human settlements are the most common reasons for this loss of forested areas.

Current efforts in forest planting and restoration have helped stem some of the net loss of global forest area, but further global action is needed. The real challenge is to move beyond just raising awareness. Member States of the United Nations Forum of Forests recently adopted four ambitious Global Objectives on Forests, which included a commitment to reverse the loss of forest cover worldwide. The Forum is currently in the process of creating an international instrument on forests. However, it is only through broad public participation and by harnessing the skills and practical experiences of forestry practitioners worldwide that we can realize these international objectives and effect change.

Sponsor a Tree

The Family Tree Scheme enables you to commemorate an important event or to remember a loved one, by giving you the opportunity to have a tree or trees planted in their name. Your family tree will span the human generations, giving pleasure to many, while enriching Ireland’s natural heritage. At present we have 1 site available:

Castle Saunderson, County Cavan, €50

Sponsor a tree

Your name, the name of the person and the occasion you want remembered or celebrated will be entered into a record book maintained for public inspection at the site. A certificate, recording the dedication (the name(s) of the person(s) for whom the tree is planted, the occasion and the name(s) of the person(s) making the gift), will be sent to you or the person of your choice. The trees are identified by a number in the Site Record Book corresponding to a tag on each tree. The trees in Castle Saunderson  can be visited by appointment only. Please note that the trees sponsored will be planted only during the tree planting season, i.e. spring and autumn.

Until recently, the Tree Council had other sites including a woodland at Muckross Forest in Killarney, Strokestown House, Co. Roscommon, Birr Castle, Co. Offaly and Larch Hill, County Dublin which have reached capacity for new trees, however existing trees can still be visited by appointment.

Trees in Woodlands

These woodlands look wild because they are being allowed to develop freely with all the natural richness and ecological diversity that this entails. Management intervention is minimal except to control invasive species which may compete aggressively with the establishing oak trees or cause significant habitat change or loss of other species. At present, the ground layer is mainly made up of a variety of ferns, grasses, sedges and herbaceous plants which provide shelter and nourishment for a wide variety of birds, small mammals and insects. Dead wood and fallen trees are also retained as important habitats supporting a wide range of specialised insects and fungi.

Mature, native oak woodlands are one of our most highly valued habitats for the wealth of wildlife associated with them and we gratefully acknowledge the support of all those who have sponsored trees here to make a positive contribution to our environment and to leave an enduring legacy for future generations.

Visitors are asked to please note when visiting Family Tree Scheme sites, you will be entering a natural area and we recommend that strong, supportive footwear should be worn. Access may be limited at certain times of the year depending on weather and ground conditions.