Wild About Wildlife: Mighty oaks grow from little acorns Grow.

Albert Nolan

Reporter:

Albert Nolan

Wild About Wildlife: Mighty oaks grow from little acorns Grow.

Mighty oak start with young minds: Sean Hartigan planting trees with a little volunteer

THE autumn leaves are falling and the ground is also littered with the next generations of trees. This year has been a great year for trees like oak. Every three or four season’s oaks produce a bountiful crop of acorns.

This is a welcome feast for animals and birds that will spend their days gorging and fattening up for the winter.

Growing oaks from seed is a brilliant project to enhance your community for nature. Oaks throughout their thousand year life support over 500 different species. In death as they are slowly hollowed out colonies of beetles and insects move in that in turn are eaten by birds.

This year Living Limerick plan on working with community groups throughout Limerick to grow 5,000 Irish trees from seed. Over the school midterm break they will be collecting, stratifying, macerating, extracting, storing and sowing seed. (It sounds complicated but it’s easy). This work will be carried out in conjunction with community groups if you have a group of children or adults and would like to host a workshops over the midterm contact Living Limerick facebook.com/livinglimerick, by email livinglimerick@antaisce.org or phone Seán Hartigan on 087 9168613.

An Taisce’s ‘Living Limerick’ is a community environmental awareness initiative based in County Limerick. Coordinated by Seán Hartigan.

Over the past two years Living Limerick have held over 100 outdoor family friendly educational events in Coillte’s Curraghchase Forest Park and other locations throughout Limerick. Events are run throughout the year but particularly at weekends and during school holiday periods.

Workshops can take place in a hall or school and people can take home the seeds they plant, if an area is available which can be used as a tree nursery that’s even better. The resulting seedlings will be used in the coming years to create community woodlands.

Tree conservation is not only about individual trees but even more about conserving woodlands.

Trees are an integral part of the natural world and even a solitary tree may support a wide range of wildlife. However, the greatest conservation value is in long established woodlands of native species. A whole range of plants and animals have evolved to live in woodland and literally cannot survive without their tree cover.

Ever since our ancestors started to clear land for homes and farmsteads, trees have been felled. They have provided fuel, fencing, charcoal, building material for houses and ships. Rising human populations, more intensive agriculture, growth of towns and roads, have all caused increasing loss of trees. By the turn of the last century, less than one percent of Ireland's native woodlands remained. It is up to all of us to replace and increase tree numbers. It is not difficult, can be great fun and is very rewarding. The trees provide their own seed, which anyone can collect and grow. You just need to follow some simple guidelines, as you would with any other seed.

For More

albert.nolan@rocketmail.com or 089 4230502. Albert is also available to do walk/talks with schools, tidy towns, youth and community groups