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Five steps to get started in forestry

Five steps to get started in forestry

Planting land is a major decision and you should be satisfied that the establishment option you choose is right for you, explains Frances McHugh, Teagasc Forestry Advisor, who highlights five steps to get started in forestry.

1. Talk to your local Teagasc forestry advisor

This will give you the opportunity to discuss your specific site and objectives, such as:

  • Is (some of) my land suitable for establishing a forest?
  • Are there environmental restrictions on my land or do any other restrictions limit my planting options – acid sensitive area, electricity lines, nearby houses, deer, etc.?
  • What do I want from my new forest, e.g., production of commercial timber, creating a native woodland?
  • How will planting interact with the various agricultural support schemes?

2. Choose a registered forester

Pre-planting applications must be prepared by a registered forester. These are professional foresters, working either as consultant foresters or employed by forestry companies. They are registered with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and authorised to submit forestry grant scheme applications.

3. Sign a contract

Ensure that you have a robust written contract with your registered forester, clearly setting out your chosen preferences as described below. The DAFM sets the standards of the Afforestation Scheme and approves grant and premium payments.

4. Make an application

Pre-planting applications are submitted to the DAFM and technical approval may be issued following assessment. Establishment operations can begin only once subsequent financial approval has been obtained. You can organise the establishment work yourself or hire a registered forester to organise some or all of the establishment and maintenance work.

5. Monitor progress

Regardless of who is establishing and/or managing the trees for the first four years, it is important to monitor progress. Walk your forest regularly and pay particular attention to the following: competition from vegetation; fence and drain maintenance; general tree health; and, possible browsing damage to trees.

You are responsible

Planting land is a major decision and you should be satisfied that the establishment option you choose is right for you. It is important to keep in mind that you, as the applicant, have ultimate responsibility to the DAFM for your forest.

This article first appeared in the Teagasc Forestry Newsletter for December. Access the publication, which contains advice on tree planting under the new Forestry Programme, here.

Also read: Check out these attractive Farm Forest Grants

Also read: Teagasc - supporting new forest creation