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Emergent Forests

Forest Type 5 (FT5)

The aim of Forest Type 5 – Emergent Forests is to protect and enhance (mainly through enrichment planting) of young native forests already emerging on the site though natural regeneration.

These early stage 'emergent' forests typically comprise pioneer species of trees and scrubs such as willows, birches and hazel arising from adjoining hedgerows and forests, and / or through the introduction of seed onto the site from further afield by wind and birds.

This will allow the habitat to grow on as native woodland, for both environmental and wood production purposes.


To be eligible, the emergent forest:

  • Must comprise early-stage forest dominated by native pioneer species of trees and scrub.
  • Must have an average canopy height of 1.5 metres or greater, with canopy closure within 6 years.
  • Can have open gaps in the canopy (up to one third). Such gaps must be targeted with enrichment planting.
  • The plot must be situated on mineral soil.

Enrichment planting

Two options are available where enrichment planting is required:

  1. Planting to be carried out at a stocking rate of 1,100 stems/ha and at a spacing of 3 x 3 metres.
  2. Planting in groups of 21 trees each at a spacing of 1 x 1 metre. Spacing between the groups will be at 10 x 10 metres (resulting in 100 groups/ha). Tree species to be used must be of climax species such as Oak with the pioneer species naturally emerging between the groups.

Eligible operations

The following operations can be considered for support:

  • Purchase of suitable native planting stock for enrichment planting
  • Appropriate ground preparation such as light scarification to facilitate natural regeneration
  • Enrichment planting in existing canopy gaps
  • Forest protection (fencing and tree guards)
  • Clearance of invasive species such as laurel, rhododendron and non-native tree species
  • Maintenance (including vegetation management)
  • Woodland edge management
  • Maintenance of open spaces, rides and glades
  • Re-spacing

Native tree species

The following native species can be considered dependent on the native forest type(s) identified using the Native Forest Framework:

  • Common alder (Alnus glutinosa)
  • Downy birch (Betula pubescens)
  • Silver birch (B. pendula)
  • Wild cherry (Prunus avium)
  • Pedunculate oak (Quercus robur)
  • Sessile oak (Q. petraea)
  • Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)
  • Hazel (Corylus avellana)
  • Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)
  • Grey Willow (Salix cinerea)
  • Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris)
  • Holly (Ilex aquifolium)

Grant rates


Forest Type

Grant Rates
(excluding fencing)

Annual Premium

Number of Premiums
for Non-Farmers
Number of Premiums
for Farmers


Emergent Forests

€2,500 €350 15 20 

Additional support measures

  • Fencing Grant ensures that newly established forests are fully protected from browsing animals. 
  • An Environment Report Grant will be paid if a report from an ecologist or archaeologist is submitted. 

Relevant publication

Further information