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Top Ten Forestry Facts

  1. The national forest estate is still expanding and has now reached 11% of the total land area, with a wide variety of forest types present. The total forest area has increased from 697,842 hectares (ha) in 2006 ha to 770,020 ha in 2017.
  2. Broadleaved species account for 28.7% of the total forest area. The share of broadleaf species in the national forest estate has increased by 3% between 2013 and 2017.
  3. 27% of all trees planted so far in 2018 were broadleaves. Almost 900 hectares of broadleaves have been planted during this time.
  4. As a % of total forest cover by county, Meath has the largest broadleaf cover in the country at 72%, it also the highest % of forests in private ownership at 76% of all forests in the county.
  5. The highest annual premium payable under the afforestation scheme is for native woodlands and is €275/acre or €680/hectare payable each year for 15 years.
  6. The Department has introduced a Woodland Environmental Fund that provides an access point for business to further incentivise land owners to plant Native Woodland. Under this new initiative business provide a once off top up payment of €1,000/ha to the landowner. Details can be found here.
  7. 100% of the cost of establishing the new forest is covered by the grant paid by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
  8. Forestry is compatible with other agriculture schemes. Farmers can continue to receive their Basic Payment on land which is also planted. Forestry and GLAS can exist side by side on the same farm once land parcels being considered for forestry do not have GLAS activities associated with them.
  9. Agro forestry is available under the afforestation scheme for farmers who wish to continue to graze the land while also growing trees on the same land. The planting of poplar or eucalyptus for fuel is a good option for farmers who want a quick return on their forestry investment. Forests planted under this Scheme can be felled after 10-15 years and a premium payment of up to €520 / hectare is payable for each year up to harvesting at year 15.
  10. Timbers sales from private forest owners were estimated at over €25m last year. A recent change in taxation rules means that income from forestry clear-felling is tax free.