Avondale - A national forestry resource.

  • Michael Carey Forestry and management consultant, Furze Lodge, Newcastle, Greystones, Co. Wicklow, Republic ofIreland.
Keywords: Forbes, Forestry, plot, species.


The year 2004 was the centenary of the acquisition of Avondale estate by the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction. The objective in acquiring the estate was firstly to establish a forestry school for working foresters in which young men could be trained in plantation establishment and management and, secondly, to enable trials to be laid down to determine the most suitable species for Ireland's forestry programme. The school was highly successful and provided the competence needed to deliver the successful forestry programme. Forest cover is now 10%, compared with 1.6% in 1904. Between 1905 and 1913 approximately 49 ha of land was planted in 104 different plots. Eighty-four tree species were planted: 46 coniferous and 38 broadleaf. In addition, small pure groups of 16 rare species (nine coniferous and seven broadleaf) were planted in corners and in situations likely to suit them. This brought the total number of species planted to 100. Some species were planted pure, others in mixture with nurses, mainly larch and Norway spruce). Most of the planting took place between 1905 and 1907. In addition to the experiment plots, an arboretum, covering an area of 17 ha, incorporating a pinetum of 6.75 ha, was also developed. The conifers far outperformed the broadleaves in volume production. Of the conifers the best performers were: Sitka spruce, Corsican pine, Douglas fir, grand fir, Lawson cypress, European and Japanese larch, Monterey pine, Norway spruce, the redwoods (notably the coast redwood), western hemlock and western red cedar. Of the broadleaves the most promising were: beech, hornbeam, pedunculate oak, sessile oak, Spanish chestnut and sycamore. The paper reviews the progress of, and lessons arising from, the initiative, and suggests a way forward in relation to the future management of the area.
How to Cite
Carey, M. (2004) “Avondale - A national forestry resource.”, Irish Forestry. Available at: https://journal.societyofirishforesters.ie/index.php/forestry/article/view/9958 (Accessed: 23July2024).