Planting and Landscape Advice

A Guide To Trees in Ireland

A Guide To Trees in Ireland

Ireland is dotted with beautiful trees, so much so that it is known worldwide for its wonderful green landscapes and countryside areas. Easily structured and packed with lots of information, the following is a quick guide to the many different types of tress that are found in Ireland.


Alder

You’ll most frequently see Alder trees growing near flowing water and, as you can imagine, they are very slow to rot. They grow pretty fast reaching maximum heights of about 20 metres and are a relative of Birch trees.


Ash

These large trees are very common in Ireland and are typically seen growing on farmland and other open green areas such as parks and large gardens. They can grow up to 45 metres high and the strong wood is often used to make hurleys.


Aspen

A member of the poplar family, the Aspen tree is not all that common. It grows by suckling as well as through the planting of seeds and it tends to blow wildly in the wind.


Birch

The two species of Birch trees that are found in Ireland are the silver birch and downy birch. They grow quickly to heights of about 25 metres and their existence is short lived.


Bird Cherry

Mainly found in the North West of Ireland, these small trees grow up to 15 metres in height and get their name as birds can only eat their fruit.


Wild Cherry

These trees are often found in woods and hedges and contain edible cherries. They grow only up to 20 metres in height and are typically found around the East and the Midlands of Ireland.


Crab Apple

These small trees only ever tend to reach a maximum of 15 metres in height and are found on the edge of woods and forests. They contain bitter apples that are edible and are often used to make apple sauce and jelly.

Elder

This small tree is found in hedges, growing only to a maximum of 6 foot in height. Flowers blossom from this tree in spring and it grows berries in the autumn.

Hazel

Hazel is more of a shrub than a tree and it is typically found growing beneath the canopy of Ash or Oak trees. Hazel nuts grow from these trees and they are edible.


Holly

Holly is one of the few evergreen trees that are native to Ireland. It can withstand harsh weather and it contains red berries. Its leaves are frequently used in Christmas decorations and wreaths.


Pedunculate Oak

Pedunculate oak trees produce acorns with stalks. It is one of the largest and longest types of trees native to Ireland. This type of tree is typically found on heavy soil in the Midlands.


Rowan

Much like the bird cherry, this small tree contains red berries that are edible for birds and it is a good tree coloniser.


Sessile oak

Sessile oaks can grow up to a height of 40 metres and take hundreds of years to reach maturity. Found mostly along the West coast of Ireland, Sessile oak trees provide an ideal habitat for many species to grow.


Scots Pine

A tree that was once almost extinct in Ireland, Scots Pine grows to 40 metres in height with its seeds serving as a source of food for squirrels.


Spindle

This small tree is not very common and is most well known for its pink berries and orange seeds.


Strawberry Tree

An evergreen tree typically found in the Southwest of Ireland, which produces edible fruits that look similar (but do not taste similar!) to strawberries.


Whitebeam

Normally found in the Southeast of Ireland, whitebeams can grow up to 20 metres in height and they contain edible red berries.


Willow

This tree is most commonly found grown on marshy soil. Its wood is used in weaving baskets and for several other purposes too.


Wych Elm

Wych Elm trees are large trees that can grow up to 40 metres in height. They live for hundreds of years and are typically found growing in fields.


Yew

Yew trees can survive for up to 1,000 years and are most commonly found growing in graveyards. The only native Yew trees in Ireland come from Killarney.


How many of these types of trees can you recognise?

About The Author

Adrian Byrne, NC. NDip. Horticulture

All about hedging and trees, planting, care and maintenance advice as well as celebrating their many benefits.