Tree Council of Ireland – Heritage Tree Hunt

Many photographers suffer from ‘Lone Tree Syndrome’; they can’t pass a solitary tree without taking a photograph of it. Trees and woodlands are popular subjects for photographers, and high quality tree shots regularly appear in IPF competitions. Now you may be able to put some of your lovely tree shots to good use. The Tree Council of Ireland is undertaking a survey of the Heritage Trees of Ireland in association with The Heritage Council, Crann, and the Irish Tree Society. They are looking for help in finding out about as many trees as possible and would be extremely grateful for any information and assistance. If we want our heritage and ancient trees to survive as long as possible we need to protect them. The only way we can do this is to know where they are, map them, photograph them and record as much information as possible about them. A heritage tree can be defined as one of cultural, ecological or historical interest because of its age, size or condition. If you have information about unusual, giant, important, mysterious, sacred, historical, fabulous, bizarre-looking or ancient trees, and generally trees with a story (!) then you should participate in this project. There are all sorts of trees that would qualify for inclusion, for example: rag trees, hanging trees; trees at holy wells, military trees (planted in military formation to commemorate battles), those of exceptional girth, height or age, any associated with historical events, people or structures and those which are important to a community. Some of the most well-known examples are the ‘Hungry’ Tree at King’s Inns, Dublin which is a London plane that appears to be consuming a bench; Lady Gregory’s ‘Autograph’ Tree at Coole Park, South Galway, a copper beech which has been signed by WB Yeats, his brother Jack, George Bernard Shaw, the poet John Masefield, Sean O’Casey and other famous people.However, not all heritage trees are so dramatic; they can, in fact, be quite unremarkable in appearance. For example, a lone hawthorn tree has been included in the survey as it marks the summit of Freestone Hill, Co. Kilkenny and folklore prevents its removal. If you have information on any trees like these the Tree Council of Ireland would be delighted to hear from you! So dig out your unusual tree photos and log on to with any information you have. They can be contacted by telephone at 01 4931313, via their website, or email Kate Crane The project is being undertaken as an extension of the Tree Register of Ireland which is a record of Ireland’s Champion Trees. Click here for more information on Heritage Trees.

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