The National Biodiversity Data Centre is delighted to release a flyer with guidance on planting trees for pollinators, produced with the support of the Tree Council of Ireland, the Native Woodland Trust, and Trees on the Land. We also thank the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine who have supported the flyer and provided funding for its design.
Right Tree, Right Space, Right Place
Pollinators like wild bees need nectar and pollen for energy and protein. Tree flowers can provide both, often when other food is scarce in spring and early summer when bees emerge from hibernation.
Local provenance native trees are best for our native wildlife, as they have evolved alongside each other. If grown locally, there is a lower risk of importing pests and diseases.
Native pollinator-friendly trees include Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Willow, Rowan, Wild Cherry and Crab Apple, which also support other native Irish flora and fauna throughout the year.
When selecting a tree, think about what will happen to it in the future: How tall will it grow? What will the canopy cover be like? Will it produce fruit that will fall in the autumn? All of these factors might impact its future, particularly in places where it may be in conflict with human interests.
“When selecting a tree, think about what will happen to it in the future”
A healthy ecosystem requires a variety of habitats, so choose your planting site carefully. Some habitats are already valuable to biodiversity, so it is best to avoid planting trees in these areas. These include species-rich grassland, wetlands or areas adjacent to streams, coastal habitats, bogs, heathland, or sites with rare or protected species.
On the island of Ireland, we are fortunate to have many organisations dedicated to the protection and planting of trees. Where necessary, make sure you do your research and consult the appropriate groups to learn from their expertise before planting your trees.
Kate Chandler, Communities and Engagement Project Officer for the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan said:
“Tree planting is growing in popularity as people look for ways to help address the climate and biodiversity crisis. We hope this flyer will help anyone interested in tree planting learn about how to make the best choices for pollinators. We are thrilled to release this new free resource, and would like to thank the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Tree Council of Ireland, Native Woodland Trust, and Trees on the Land for their support.”
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