Native Irish Trees

A Guide to Planting Native Irish Trees

Native Irish Trees

Take a look around our beautiful landscape and you can’t help but notice the abundance of beautiful trees that are often hundreds of years old. Trees are valuable for so many different reasons, filtering pollution, shelter, screening, food, and shelter for birds and mammals.

Planting Native Irish Trees is a simple, cost-effective, and value-adding way to do our bit for the environment.

“Wise men plant trees, under whose shade they shall never sit” – Chinese Proverb

1. Oak Trees

Oaks are Our number one favorite Native Irish Tree. The Oak Tree is Ireland’s National Tree and is considered a symbol of strength, wisdom & endurance.

Oak Trees are known as the King of the Forest, can live for over 300 years, produce one of the most durable timbers, and support over 500 lifeforms.

Oak Trees are A Symbol of Strength, Endurance, and Wisdom.

2. Alder Trees

Alder trees are deciduous, water-loving trees that in fact improve the soil in which they are planted. Their Nitrogen Fixing properties contain the ability to add nutrients to poorer soils.

Alder trees are a common sight in Irish Woodlands, and boggy areas and even thrive along the Irish coast.

Male and female flowers appear on the same tree in the form of catkins. Catking appears in Spring.

3. Hazel Tree

Hazel plants can be grown as hedging plants or as a small bushy tree. Bushy by nature, they offer great coverage and are ideal for coppicing.

Common in native hedgerows, these plants produce hazelnuts as they mature.

Hazel plants produce eye-catching catkins that hang in clusters in Spring.

4. Mountain Ash

A native flowering and fruiting tree Mountain Ash is a beautiful tree in any setting. They are commonly used in, parks, gardens and avenues due to the well-established upright crown, clear stem, and flowering properties.

They are a popular tree with birds as they produce a bountiful crop of red berries in Autumn months. These berries are a vital and important food source.

Creamy white flowers appear in May followed by vibrant red berries in Autumn.

5. Scots Pine

An evergreen conifer, Scots Pines are another common sight in Irish woodlands. These trees hold their colour and foilage all year round. They are medium to tall trees, reaching a height of approximately 35 metres, and can, in fact, live for 700 years.

An evergreen Native Irish tree commonly found in woodlands and forests.

Planting Native Irish Trees

  • Most Native Irish trees are sold as bare-root trees and can therefore be planted in the bare-root season from November through to late March or early April.
  • Trees are available in a range of sizes from 2-3ft plants, called whips or saplings up to 8ft trees known as standards.
  • Trees that are planted as whips or saplings will need protection from rabbits and deer and are often planted with rabbit guards.
  • These smaller saplings are often a food source for these animals. Deers love the buds of developing oak trees and rabbits tend to snip the top of smaller plants that have softer bark.
  • Larger trees are planted and we recommend these trees are staked to prevent them from blowing around in the wind.
  • You can learn how to plant and staking your trees in our blog post A Guide to Planting Small Garden Trees or by Reading our Native Planting Guide. 

Naturalised, Not Native

In this blog, we have discussed some of the most popular species of Native Irish Trees. There are several species that are native to Ireland and will add beauty, biodiversity, and interest to your garden or woodland area.

Other species include:

  • Crab Apple – producing flowers in Spring/Summer and small apples in late Summer/Autumn
  • Holly – evergreen plants, commonly found in hedgerows, small flowers in Spring and red berries in Winter
  • Silver Birch – ideal as a screening tree, commonly found in woodlands and forests.

There are also species of trees that although not native to Ireland have become naturalised over the last few hundred years. Some of these species include:

  • Beech  – incredibly common and popular in woodlands and forests. Planted as both trees and hedging plants.
  • Horse Chestnut – a large tree with a domed spreading crown. Common in woodland and parks.
  • Hornbeam – similar in appearance to beech leaves, Hornbeam is commonly planted as an alternative to Beech Hedging in damper areas.


There are many species of trees and hedging plants to choose from when Native is your aim. To learn even more about Native Irish Trees and planting you can check out the Tree Council Website.