9 forestry options that could be an ideal long-term investment

The plantation at Laragh, Glendalough, Co Wicklow - comprising 90pc Sitka Spruce - is valued at €280,000
The plantation at Laragh, Glendalough, Co Wicklow - comprising 90pc Sitka Spruce - is valued at €280,000
Jim O'Brien

Jim O'Brien

Forestry is becoming more and more attractive to farmers and non-farming landowners as a decent long-term investment.

In more recent years the land selected for planting is not just confined to marginal ground - better land is now featuring in the land bank selected for forestry.

Paul Lafferty of ForestSales Ireland has a range of forestry properties for sale throughout the country at the moment from Wicklow to Galway and from Donegal to Limerick. The portfolio comes to a total of 1,032ac with a collective guide value of around €3m.

Two of the larger parcels comprise 275ac each with one located at Mount Jubilee in Co Mayo and another at Whitegate in Co Clare. The Mayo parcel is located at Mount Jubilee, west of Bangor Erris and north of Gweesalia on the land that was used by Teagasc for its grassmeal experimentation. The plantation is guided at €700,000 and will generate a generous income of €42,651 per annum until 2029.

"This is a valuable piece of forestry," says Mr Lafferty. "You can buy it for €700,000 and by 2029 you will have made €500,000 back in premiums and will still have the land and the timber in your possession. As an enclosed plantation, it is entitled to the higher premium. It is growing well and has been recently fertilised."

The plantation is in two sections of Sitka Spruce and Pine planted in 2009.

The Whitegate property is in East Clare and was planted in three sections, in 1993, 2002 and 2007.

With a guide price of €830,000, there are very small premium payments of about €1,000 per annum remaining.

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Up to 75pc of the timber is Sitka Spruce that has been thinned with 30ac in valuable mixed broadleaf.

The largest section extending to 100ac was planted in 1993 with 90ac planted in 1997 and the 6ac portion in 2001. There is a 12ac parcel of open land with the portfolio. Mr Lafferty describes this as a decent block of forestry growing well with plenty of road access.

Westmeath

A 155ac plantation near the Midleton Park Hotel at Castletown Geoghegan has plenty of broadleaves and is valued at €450,000.

Planted in 1995, the trees are in good ground rather than marginal land and are growing well.

There are no premiums remaining but the timber and the amenity value has to be high given that 60ac of the trees are Norway Spruce while 38ac is in Ash, 17ac in Oak, 10ac in Beech, 3ac in Birch and Scots Pine. A 10ac parcel is in Sitka Spruce.

The plantation has a good road network and is due for thinning.

Donegal

An 82.65ac plantation located at Ardara is made up of Sitka Spruce and Pine and was planted in 1995. This parcel is out of premium and is growing well. It's valued at around €120,000.

Wicklow

An 80ac plantation at Laragh beside the lovely Glendalough was planted in 1999. Valued at €280,000, this is 90pc Sitka Spruce with some Scots Pine and a scattering of Larch and was thinned in 2015. The plantation has recreational value and is home to wild deer.

Limerick

Ballymurragh East between Newcastlewest and Templeglantine in West Limerick is the location for a 60ac plantation with 37ac in Sitka Spruce while the remaining 23ac is in Larch and broadleaves. Planted in 2002, there are three years of premiums remaining at €10,071 per annum, realising an income of over €30,000. The purchase price is guided at €220,000.

Galway

A 52ac parcel of Sitka Spruce at Dunmore is valued at €160,000. Planted in three tranches, 30ac was planted in 1992, 10ac in 1997 and 10ac in 2007. There are nine premiums of €2,000 per annum payable on the 2007 plantation.

Mayo

A second 52ac parcel is found near Hollymount at Ballinrobe and comprises 80pc Sitka Spruce planted in 1991 but un-thinned. It has no premiums remaining and is served by a good road network. This block of forestry is valued at €115,000.

Galway and Donegal

Two smaller parcels make up the entire range of the forestry and these include 16.5ac of un-thinned pure Sitka Spruce at Glenamaddy in Co Galway. Growing well it is described as chock-a-block with timber and comes with a 5ac piece of bog. The entire is guided at €85,000.

A 4ac wood of broadleaves including Oak, Sycamore and Japanese Larch located at Letterkenny in Co Donegal is described as having strong recreational value and is guided at €15,000.

Indo Farming


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