National Tree Week 2023 runs from the 19th-26th March and provides many opportunities to learn about trees and tree protection, to get involved in tree-related activities, and to celebrate the role of trees in nature and culture.
The Tree Council of Ireland and Coillte organise National Tree Week but community groups, schools, and local authorities around the country – including Wicklow – will hold and participate in a wide array of different events, ranging from private and public tree planting events to woodland walks, nature trails, workshops, tree talks, tree-hugging, tree climbing, broadcasts, launches, poetry readings, tree stories and exhibitions.
Anybody who is organising or wants to participate in an event can access the Programme of Events at https://www.treecouncil.ie/list-of-events.
A central event is the nationwide distribution of 30,000 native tree saplings such as oak, birch and rowan, donated by Coillte and planted by community members. Wicklow County Council will distribute 800 of these saplings to more than 50 different groups.
Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr Tommy Annesley, welcomed the collaboration with the Tree Council of Ireland saying: “It is great to see many volunteers helping to plant trees all across our county to mark National Tree Week. Wicklow County Council is committed, through implementation of its tree policy, to increasing tree cover in our county”.
Chief Executive of Wicklow County Council, Emer O’Gorman, commented that “Wicklow has an amazing tree heritage and I am delighted that Anja Murray has agreed to join our celebration of National Tree Week to talk about our trees and their role in creating rich habitats and landscapes throughout the county of Wicklow”.
Broadcaster and ecologist, Anja Murray will give a talk in Wicklow library entitled “Our Generous Trees” on Tuesday, 21st March 7pm. Anja is well known for her contributions to Eco Eye and has just published a new book, “Wild Embrace”.
Bookings for the talk can be completed at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/irelands-generous-trees-tickets-577520498357
The theme for National Tree week 2023 is “Biodiversity begins with Trees” and a key objective is to raise awareness around the vital functions performed by trees, as fundamental elements of the ecosystems that sustain us.
Trees can be imagined as the lungs of the earth while forests play an essential role in the sequestration of carbon, the regulation of our climate and in ensuring ecological diversity and resilience. Trees also provide food and shelter for birds, bees and many other insects, which in turn carry out essential pollination services and assist with forest regeneration.
In addition, trees are also a source of food for people and we utilise wood products in a multitude of ways. Our forests, and the trees in our gardens, hedgerows and public green spaces need to be protected and carefully managed for the future.
Wicklow County Council has developed its own Tree Management Policy which was formally adopted in January 2022 and lays out specific protocols for the monitoring and maintenance of trees under the Council’s care, and for the planting and removal of trees (see https://www.wicklow.ie/Portals/0/adam/Content/MfHn2iPPXk-b0tsEQFiUuw/Link/WCC%20Tree%20Management%20Policy%20Jan%202022.pdf).