National Tree Week 2 – 8 March 2014 ~ The Sound of Trees!

The theme for National Tree Week 2014 is ‘The Sound of Trees’ ~ ‘Fuaim na gCrann’

The launch of National Tree Week takes place in Powerscourt Estate Gardens,  Enniskerry, Co.Wicklow on Sunday 2nd March 2014.  National Tree Week is an annual week long fun festival about trees organised by The Tree Council of Ireland.  In celebration of National Tree Week individuals, families, schools and local communities are encouraged to participate in and support events taking place around the country during the week.

National Tree Week 2014 - trees at Eco Evolution, Wexford

National Tree Week 2014 – trees at Eco Evolution, Wexford

By doing something as simple as planting a tree, everyone can play their part in making a difference to our efforts to live more sustainably, bringing about huge  benefits, many of which will have long term impact in times of climate uncertainty. 

Despite great advances in the past 100 years, Ireland remains one of the least wooded countries in Europe with only 11% of our land planted with trees compared to the European average of 40%.  Ireland has agreed a target to increase our forest cover to 17% by 2035.  This initiative will provide new jobs, build our forestry industry and help improve our environment.

On a global level, trees play a significant role in mitigating against climate change by soaking up carbon emissions and in the sustainable wood resource they provide.  Trees also improve air quality, providing us with clean air to breathe, and reduce the effects of flash flooding and soil erosion.  They give shade to make streets and buildings cooler in summer and improve the energy efficiency of buildings by providing shelter and reducing heat loss.  Without trees, life on earth would be intolerable.

Get involved!

It’s easy to get involved as an individual or as a group.  The Tree Council of Ireland invites you to organise one or more events for the week to celebrate trees. As well as tree planting ceremonies, the range of events can include forest and woodland walks, nature trails, workshops, woodturning displays, talks, tree hugging, tree climbing etc. the choice is yours.

Ferns Tidy Towns Group planting a copse of trees

Ferns Tidy Towns Group planting a copse of trees

What can you do to celebrate National Tree Week?

  • Check out the National Tree Week events programme and take part in an event near you.
  • Celebrate National Tree Week in your school by planting a tree or in the classroom by drawing pictures or making leaf prints or bark rubbings of trees, read or write poems or stories about trees, learn how to measure the height and spread of a tree, produce a class drama about trees.
  • Encourage your local residents association, tidy towns group, youth club, sports club or other local organisation to get their members involved in a tree planting or tree maintenance project (eg. clean-up a local woodland) in your area.
  • Volunteer in a local community tree-planting event. You’ll meet new people and make a difference in your community.
  • Organise a walk or trail to showcase and tell the stores of any large, unusual or historic trees in your community.
  • Commemorate an event of significance in your community by planting a tree and organise a community celebration or get together to mark the occasion.
  • Celebrate the week in a personal way by planting a tree yourself in your own garden.
  • Take some time to read a book about trees or find our more about their characteristics, their uses, folklore etc. Learn to identify trees in your neighbourhood.
  • Enjoy the outdoors. Visit a local forest or park or take a nature walk and enjoy observing and being in the company of trees.
  • Those in the business community could sponsor a community tree project.
Woodland area of native trees at Scoil Naomh Maodhóg, Ferns

Woodland area of native tree saplings at Scoil Naomh Maodhóg, Ferns

Trees are essential to our world and offer a wide range of benefits to our environment so for the week that’s in it we should also remember that recycling saves trees! Each ton of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution.

Celebrate with Gorey Library

If you live in or around Gorey, Co. Wexford why not celebrate National Tree Week with Gorey Library.  Email your photograph of trees before and or after the recent storms to display digitally in the library. If you wish to be accredited please place your name digitally on your photograph. The Digital Photographic Exhibition will run for the full week of National Tree Week. Please email photographs to stephanie.black@wexfordcoco.ie

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