Forestry planting back nationally but Leitrim still home to most new trees
New forestry figures show that in 2017 there was over 5,536ha around the country planted with forestry, down from the 6,293ha planted in 2015.
The National Forest Estate is now 11pc of the national land area, according to National Forest Inventory.
Although there has been much emphasise on the need for Ireland to increase the amount of land being planted, there has been a significant reduction in the amount of land being planted in 2017, compared to 2015.
County by county analysis of land being planted shows that Leitrim saw the highest amount of land being planted last year, with 536ha added to the county’s woodland. Leitrim now has 18.9pc of its land bank planted.
The overall figures show that although new land devoted to forestry was reduced, it also highlights that what is being planted is being concentrated in the West and North-west according to Sinn Féin TD for Sligo and Leitrim, Martin Kenny.
“Forestry has dropped back but the land has been concentrated in some counties. More and more land is being planted in the West and North west and its causing tension for farmers who want to buy land,” he explained.
Mayo came in a close second for planting the most in 2017, where some 531ha was planted. While the Banner county was the third largest contributor to the national forestry last year with 518ha being planted. Other counties that were top of the charts were Cork, Galway and Roscommon. Cork has the largest forest area.
Meanwhile, Dublin planted the lowest number of trees last year with 10ha added to the county’s woodland. Louth, Kildare and Monaghan were also poor land contributors to forestry last year.