Teagasc, in association with the Forest Service, DAFM, is organising a series of 16 forest walks nationwide during April 2017.
Two of these events will be held locally in counties Laois and Westmeath.
The focus of these forest walks will be on the management of young mixed woodlands consisting of both conifer and broadleaf species.
At these events, forestry personnel from Teagasc and the Forest Service will explain why it is essential to care for young forests.
Events take place on Wednesday, April 26 at 7pm in Bunbrosna, Co Westmeath.
Participants are asked to gather at Tormey’s Pub car park, while on Monday 24 at 7pm, the walk will be held in Mountmellick, Co Laois.
Those participating in that event are asked to gather at the Top Petrol Station on Tullamore Road.
Liam Kelly, Forestry Adviser with Teagasc explained why early management is so important. “New forests require several years of active management to become well established,” he added, before pointing out that if a forest was not well maintained, future timber revenue would most likely be compromised.
“Forest owners need to take an active role in the management of their forests to maximise future timber revenue.
After all, it is the owner that will benefit financially from well looked after trees!”
Mr Kelly went on to say it was very important to ensure that the young forest would perform well and enthusiastic forest owners knew what to look out for.
“This is also true if the management of the plantation has been subcontracted out for the first four years,” he continued.
“Another very good reason is because the payment of the maintenance grant and forestry premium is subject to the forest successfully achieving certain standards.”
He also pointed out that focus in the first few years would be on controlling the surrounding vegetation; ensuring that browsing animals didn’t damage the young trees; replanting of failed trees; assessing nutrient needs; shaping of broadleaf trees and reducing the risk of fires.
“These forest walks are aimed at landowners who have established a new forest in the last few years and at landowners who are considering planting some land,” said Mr Kelly.
“All are welcome to attend either or any of the other events nationwide.”
To find out more, please contact Liam Kelly, Forestry Adviser with Teagasc on 087-9090495 or visit www.teagasc.ie/forestry.