Future Trees Trust in Ireland and Northern Ireland

Prior to re-branding in 2011, we were known as the British and Irish Hardwood Improvement Project, a name which reflects our truly Anglo-Irish nature. For many years we have been financially supported by the Irish forestry authority Coford (now the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine (DAFM)) and Teagasc, the state forestry research agency in Ireland. Several of our key members work at the Agri-Foods and Bioscience Institute at Loughgall, Co. Antrim, two of our trustees are Irish and we have many trial sites and research projects across Ireland, including:-

  • A detailed study into inducing early flowering in oak trees at Loughgall, County Antrim
  • A sycamore grafted seed orchard at Loughgall, County Antrim
  • A sycamore grafted seed orchard at Nonesohardy Nursery, County Wexford
  • A birch grafted seed orchard at Nonesohardy Nursery, County Wexford
  • A trial established in County Antrim to test progeny from plus trees
  • A conservation collection of Ash plus trees at Teagasc and Coillte in County Wicklow
  • A conservation collection of Sycamore and Ash plus trees at Teagasc, Kinsealy (Co. Dublin)
  • European provenance trials of Ash at Roosky, County Roscommon and in County Cork
  • An oak breeding seedling orchard in County Cork
  • A sweet chestnut grafted seed orchard in County Wexford
  • Oak plus tree identification, scion collection and grafting to establish new seed orchards

But this is a small proportion of the work that is necessary to achieve our ambitions across Ireland and we now need to significantly increase our engagement with stakeholders across the forestry, ecology and land-owning sectors. A pressing need is to establish more trial sites across Ireland, in order to more accurately determine the best trees to plant in the soil, environmental and climatic conditions that trees growing across Ireland will experience.

In order to achieve these ambitions, we have, with generous support from DAFM, now created the part-time role of Irish Development Officer. Accordingly, we are pleased to introduce you to John McNamara.

John McNamaraJohn worked at Teagasc in crop research for 30 years, more specifically in the areas of horticulture and forestry. The various forestry research projects he was involved with dealt with effective propagation methods of ash, sycamore, oak, cherry, elm, sweet chestnut and walnut. His work involved the propagation of these species through grafting, cuttings and tissue culture and John has wide experience in laying out experimental field trials, planting and the cultural care of such trials.

John’s role as Irish Development Officer is initially for one day a week, during which time he will be tasked with raising our profile and coordinating our work across Ireland as well as raising a minimum of €5000 to help fund our work in Ireland.

John is very familiar with Future Trees Trust and has been an active member of our oak and ash groups for many years. John’s email address is john.mcnamara@futuretrees.org.