Tree collections in Ireland.

  • Mary Forrest Department of Crop Science Horticulture and Forestry, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4,
Keywords: Exotic species, introduced species, forest history, arboreta, nursery, garden design, landscape gardens.


In contrast to the 33 species which occur naturally, several hundred exotic or introduced species are represented in Ireland. From the 1600s, tree species from the temperate regions of the world have been cultivated in Irish parks and demesnes. In the 18th and 19th century, plant collections wer established by private owners who were keen to plant recently introduced species. In this century, tree collections were established by private individuals, the State and by local authorities. Trees were planted in arboreta, such as the John F. Kennedy Arboretum, Co. Wexford, or in informal Robinsonian style gardens, such as Mount Usher Gardens in Co. Wicklow. Some 35 collections are extant on this island. Collections such as those at Powerscourt, Co. Wicklow, Birr Castle, Co. Offaly, and Castlewellan in Co. Down, are of international repute. While the tree collection are important tourist destinations, attracting some 700,000 visitors annually, the also represent a resources for the nursery industry and for genetic and taxonomic studies, and are an integral part of garden design.
How to Cite
Forrest, M. (1998) “Tree collections in Ireland.”, Irish Forestry. Available at: (Accessed: 21June2024).