North East Forestry Group


“It’s a wise man who plants trees whose shade he will never sit.”

North East Forestry Group

Navan  |  Co Meath  |  Republic of Ireland

Please click here to send us an e-mail.

Established May 2013


Japanese Larch Disease

The disease, Sudden Oak Death, is caused by a species of fungus like organism called Phytopthora ramorum.

How to spot the symptoms of Sudden Oak Death:

  1. Bulletdead and partially dying trees dispersed throughout the forest

  2. Japanese Larchdepending on the degree of infection, the top of the tree will be turning grey or reddish brown

  3. Homepossible needle wilt, irregular shoot growth, branch and shoot dieback, weeping resin and/or heavy cone production

Healthy Japanese Larch

Ash Die Back Disease

Information provided by the Forestry Development Officer, Teagasc

Forest Service Forest Fire Risk Warning System 2014

‘Forest Fire Risk Warnings are issued as circulars periodically during the main wildfire risk season from February through to July.  These warnings provide forest owners and managers with advance warning of high risk weather conditions, and permit appropriate readiness and mitigation measures to be taken in advance of fire outbreaks.  ...’

Please click the link below for the full details:

Forest Service Wildfire Risk Warning System 2014.pdf

Article written by Bob Gogarty (Committee Member)

Planning a Forest Thinning

Most new enterprises in farming are an adventure, as it was for us when we decided to plant our forestry in 1995.  We identified an area of land of approximately 2½ acres that was not good land and obtained advice from Teagasc regarding species, fencing and planting.

Coillte looked after the mounding and planting of trees which were Ash, we did all the fencing.

As it was a small area, we did the maintenance and replacement of plants that did not grow.  Our forest grew quite well and we decided to prune our trees, but we gave ourselves a lot of work, as we pruned every tree instead of picking out the good ones and leaving the rest to grow naturally.

In 2012, we obtained a felling licence, from the Department of Agriculture, to thin and high prune our trees - this we did ourselves.  We cut out every 7th row to allow machinery access to take out the tree thinnings.  We also knocked down all crooked and forked trees from rows that were left.  All timber for being removed was cut into 8 foot lengths, our method of taking out was by tractor and buckrake. 

Let me outline some of the mistakes we made:

  1. Ash Die Back DiseaseToo much pruning

By taking out every 7th row when thinning, we were sometimes cutting out a row beside a drain, this left it awkward when taking the timber, as the tractor was inclined to slip into the drain.  In some cases, it would be better to leave 7 rows and cut the 8th.

  1. Ash Die Back DiseaseTree butts cut too high

If the trees were cut too high from the ground on the paths, and as the tracks of the tractor lowered, the butts would catch the bottom of the tractor.

In outlining some of the mistakes that were made, I hopefully benefit someone that is thinking of planning their forest thinning.

This is why groups like this can be beneficial to everyone.  We can consult each other and find out the best methods to manage our forests.

Kevin O’Connell, from Teagasc, has kindly provided the following link, as a few people were interested in hurley ash at the field day at the end of March.

The DVD was ‘produced by the GAA, Teagasc and the Irish Guild of Ash Hurley Makers - 2011’.  Please click on the following link and scroll down the Teagasc webpage to view the video:

The Art of Hurley Making - ‘From Ash to Clash’

Ash Dieback Findings

The following is information on Ash Dieback from The Forest Service Website:

Ash Dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) Reminders

The disease Ash Dieback, is affecting woodland in Ireland.  The disease is not harmful to people or animals, however, it can kill Ash trees.

How to spot the symptoms of Ash Dieback:

  1. About Usblackening of leaves which will often hang on the tree

  2. Eventsdiscoloured stems often in a diamond shape where the leaf was attached

  3. Ash Die Back Diseasedead branches

To help stop either of the detailed diseases spreading any further:

  1. Before visiting other places, clean mud and leaves from all footwear, pushchairs, bikes, cars, dogs and horses

  2. BulletDo not remove branches, leaves or wood from this area

Please contact your nearest Teagasc office to notify them if you do spot any of these signs.  Please DO NOT take in specimens to their offices.

Ash Die Back Disease

The following update (as at 31 March 2016) on Ash Dieback disease confirmed findings in Ireland has been provided by Teagasc:

Update on Ash Dieback Disease as at 31 Mar 2016.pages.pdf

Ash Die Back Disease
About Us
About Us

Teagasc Advisory Newsletter

Simply click on the following link to view the October 2021 edition of the Teagasc Advisory Newsletter:  Teagasc Advisory Newsletter

Included ‘in this month’s edition:

Minister Doyle Welcomes Initiative to Facilitate Forest Certification

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle, T.D., with responsibility for forestry, has welcomed the development of a template for private forest owners to establish certification groups.  ....

Please click on the following link for the full press release dated 28th November 2016:

Forest Certification Announcement 28 Nov 2016.pdf

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Press Release

1 March 2017

Doyle launches pilot Forestry Knowledge Transfer Group

... “Management of your forest asset enhances your ability to derive a good return.  While there are a number of support schemes available from my Department such as the Forest Roads Scheme, my Department is also seeking to assist forest owners in other ways.” ...

Please click on the link below to take you to the full Press Release:

Press Release 1 Mar 2017.pdf

To see Issue 142, 17 January 2022 edition - please click on the following link:  Teagasc Forestry e-News

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Forestry Act

We have been passed the following information from Teagasc:

The implementation of the Forestry Act.  Site notices must be erected for afforestation and felling.  There are new conditions for felling trees and new procedures in applying for a felling licence.

Please click on the following links for information:

  1. NewsCircular 08 of 2017 Commencement of Forestry Act 2014 - Further Informat....pdf

  2. Ash Die Back DiseaseSI 191 of 2017 Forestry Regulations 2017.pdf

  3. New Tree Felling Requirements Information Note.pdf

  4. Site Notice Afforestation 09052017.pdf

  5. Site Notice Felling 05042017.pdf

Forestry Certification Update and New Website Launch

As a major milestone for the certification project approaches, namely the audit of the woodlands, a training day was held in Navan to prepare the owners for the audits and beyond.

Article written by Des Drew (Committee Member)

The day was run, jointly, by Commercial Forestry Services and UKFCG with attendees from Teagasc, The Forestry Company and The Forest Service.  The first part of the day looked at the reports from the pre assessment audits and considered any issues or problems that needed to be discussed and set right for the main audit.  There was good interaction and some robust debate.  The afternoon session focussed on particular FSC requirements such as lone working rules, use of pesticides and all the information/records to be kept and how best to complete all the information needed.

The highlight of the day was a presentation by Mechteld Schuller, who updated us on the progress of the project and who demonstrated a new website which she developed for rolling out certification across the country in future years.  The project itself is ahead of schedule.  This certification website is now available to anyone interested in getting their woodland certified and is a fabulous source of general forestry guidance and information.  It can be seen at

Next step is the public consultation and then onto the audit and hopefully certification of our woodlands by April or so.

Do take a look at the website which is a great resource for all woodland owners in our North East Forestry Group and in Ireland.

Calculating a Stand’s Yield Class

The concept of yield class is often mentioned by foresters, but not always understood by the layman. 

The growth of a tree may be measured in terms of height, diameter, volume or weight, but volume is the most meaningful for management purposes.

Please open the following link for the full article:

The following article was written by William Merivale for the

Felling Decision Tool

The Felling Decision Tool provides guidance to forest owners on when to fell their forest to obtain the best return from their forest asset.  The tool can be accessed through the following link:

There is an accompanying COFORD Connects Note for guidance Felling Decision Tool - Conifers

For further details on the Felling Decision Tool, please contacted John Redmond directly by clicking on the following link:  John Redmond

RDS Spring Awards 2020

- promoting sustainable farming and living in Ireland

It is with great pleasure that we can let you know there were awards given to two of your Group Members in the 2020 Production Forestry Award:

Any owner who has Ash as a forest crop, can you please check to see if there are signs or symptoms of Ash Dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus).  The following clips will help you in the identification of the disease:

  1. Please click here for reporting, by e-mail, Ash dieback to the Forest Service. 

  2. Include your name and address and your contract number with your e-mail.  Ideally, a photograph of the disease should also be attached to your e-mail.

  3. The disease can also be reported by phoning 01 607 2651.

  4. There is also a very good app which can be used, please click on the following link TreeCheck

The following link is to the Forest Service’s website on the disease:

Information from our Forestry Development Officer

Teagasc Forestry e-News

‘The Making of a Rye River Seasonal’

Some Spruce tips were used from one of the North East Forest Certification Club member’s forest (Martin Barrett from Athboy) to flavour a new limited edition small batch beer for the Rye River Brewing company based in Celbridge. 

Please click on the following link to learn more:  Rye River Seasonal

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine - Forestry

New Grants

This Grant is for forest owners who wish to convert their forest to continuous cover over a period of twelve years.

There will be three payments of €750 per hectare, for three separate interventions.  The scheme is limited to thirty projects initially.

Please click on the following link for more details Element 2, Woodland Improvement Scheme - Continuous Cover Forestry or contact your local Teagasc Forestry Advisor.

Element 2, Woodland Improvement Scheme - Continuous Cover Forestry

‘Application stage

All licence applications for afforestation, forest, road works, felling and aerial fertilisation are screened by the Department for Appropriate Assessment under Article 6.3 of the Habitats Directive and SI 477 of 2011.  Where, having reviewed the application, the Department cannot rule out the possibility of a significant effect on a Natura Site (i.e. a SAC or SPA) it will require the submission of a Natura Impact Statement (NIS) from the applicant.  On receipt of the NIS, the Department will carry out an Appropriate Assessment. ...’

Please click on the following link for the full circular:  Circular 08 2019 Appropriate Assessment.pdf

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Appropriate Assessment

Circular dated 23 May 2019

Please click on the following link for ‘Appendix 20’ referred to in the above Circular:


‘At the conference ‘Our Forests, Our Future’, Commissioner Hogan announced a potential initiative to encourage Member States to reach the ambitious environmental policy objectives of the post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) proposals.  The initiative proposes to reward farmers with payments for the afforestation of one hectare.

In his keynote speech, Commissioner Hogan announced the idea of a “one hectare initiative”, which would be supported through the CAP.  Under their future CAP Strategic Plans, Member States will have the option to reward farmers with payments per farm for the afforestation of one hectare.  This afforestation should be done in a biodiversity-friendly way, contributing to climate and environmental objectives.

This initiative can be programmed through Rural Development Funding and could help Member States to meet their climate and biodiversity objectives.  It would be another practical example of farmers providing public goods with public support.  In order to limit the administrative burden for beneficiaries and public authorities, a lump-sum payment per year and per hectare could be offered to each participating farmer over the next budget period.

Such an initiative could significantly contribute to the creation of valuable ecosystem services, such as water retention and flood and soil erosion control.  It would also provide significant biodiversity benefits, such as shelter and connectivity.

Commissioner Hogan encouraged Member States to take up this initiative, as it would contribute to the achievement of environmental targets and help safeguard our public goods, including forests.  He said...

“The future CAP provides the opportunity, but the political will to implement this initiative must come from the Member States.  Hence, I hope you will spread the word.”’

‘One Hectare Initiative’

Commissioner Hogan announced a potential initiative at Forestry Conference

McKinnon Report

The McKinnon Report, which was released by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is a review on the current state of Irish Forestry.

It makes very interesting reading, as it addresses some of the fundamental difficulties which are affecting private forest owners who are wishing to do necessary work on their existing plantations.

Committee Members of your Group (The North East Forestry Group) attended some of the consultation meetings with Mr James McKinnon, along with other forest group representatives.

We will discuss these findings and other matters at our Annual General Meeting (AGM) in the new year.

Please click on the following link for the report:  McKinnon Report

  1. BulletSurvey on small woodlands on diary and drystock farms

  2. BulletHardwood Focus Webinar

  3. BulletAutumn management tips

  4. BulletKeep in touch!

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) (Forestry Division) has announced details of the new support scheme for plantations impacted by Ash dieback disease, the Reconstitution and Under-planting scheme (RUS scheme) this week:

Reconstitution and Under-planting Scheme (RUS)

  1. 1.Summary document outlining the options available to Ash plantation owners.

  2. 2.New Scheme Document (RUS scheme) which describes the Reconstitution and Under-planting Options open to the Forest Owner.

  3. 3.New Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the evaluation of levels of stem damage (with field sheet).

Some of the main changes to note are as follows:

  1. BulletDAFM no longer requires a laboratory positive from an Ash plantation in order for the owner to gain access to DAFM support schemes.

  2. BulletPlantations are no longer subject to statutory plant health felling and disposal requirements. 

  3. BulletApplications under the RUS Scheme are exempt from the felling licence requirement.

  4. BulletApplications for the WIS and other schemes require a felling licence.

  5. BulletApplications for Categories 2b and 2c of the RUS Scheme must be field assessed using the new procedure described in the attached SOP.

  6. BulletAll applications must be screened for Appropriate Assessment.

  7. BulletSite biosecurity should be observed.

  1. BulletIn one to four year old plantations:  Frost damage 2020.pdf

Our Forestry Development Officer, Kevin O’Connell, has asked us to pop up the attached information notes regarding frost damage.  Please click on each link for details:

  1. BulletIn older plantations:  Frost Damage in Older Plantations.pdf

Frost Damage in Plantations


Runner Up - John Sherlock of Navan, Co Meath

Winner - Peter Farrelly of Kells, Co Meath

Congratulations to both parties - all that hard work was worth it!

Peter said,

‘The forestry sector as a whole will greatly benefit from raised awareness and education into the future.  Most relevant to this in relation to my own forest in recent years, has been the knowledge and information which I have gotten from the discussions within the North East Forestry Group.  These have helped shape the way my forest is planned and managed.

As governments and major groups worldwide begin to focus on environmental impacts and carbon emissions, the forestry sector will, I feel, only become more important as the primary way of storing carbon in this country.

Focusing on sustainability is the only way this can and will be achieved forward into future generations.

Coming from a long line of farmers, I have benefitted by inheriting sustainable methods, which I would hope I am only improving on for future generations.  By ensuring that my forest is managed properly and produces the best quality product, I am confident the timber leaving it can be used for a variety of building materials, as well as an energy source for a long time to come.’

John said,

‘I am thrilled to be given this prestigious award.

As a private woodland owner, I would like to see development of a forest industry providing the raw material in both hardwoods and softwoods as being an integral part of future farming.

Our woodlands, which was originally planted by my late father, Pat Sherlock, has developed from an alternative use of poor land, into a regular source of income, along with being an amenity my family can use.  It is a delight to bring visitors through our

young Oak plantation, leading on to our Alder trees, which seem to reach for the sky.

The award is an accumulation of knowledge, networking, species choice and constantly monitoring the growth of our plantation.

Getting our forest Certified, under the FSC banner within the North East Forestry Group, was a big help in making me aware of all the elements necessary to achieve quality timber, along with maintaining environmental and biodiversity standards.’

Our Teagasc Forestry Development Officer, Kevin O’Connell, has asked us to make the following important information available to all our Group Members.  This concerns our Tree Felling Licences.

Tree Felling Licences

Requirements & Public Notifications

  1. BulletPhase 2 - Forestry Licence Viewer (FLV)

  1. Please click the following link to view the full circular:

  2. Circular 01 2021 Phase 2 Forestry Licence Viewer.pdf

  1. BulletForestry Licence Viewer (FLV)

  1. Please click this link to view the Licence Viewer

  1. BulletTree Felling Licence (TFL) Guidance Note

  1. Please click this link to view the TFL Guidance Note 03122020.pdf

  1. BulletApplication for a Licence to Fell Trees

  1. Please click this link to view the Application for a Licence to Fell Trees.pdf

  1. BulletFelling Site Notice

  1. Please click this link to view the Notice Site Notice Felling 16122020.docx or Site Notice Felling 16122020.pages.pdf

  1. BulletSite Notice Afforestation

  1. BulletSite Notice Forest Road Works

  1. Please click this link to view the Notice Site Notice Roads 16122020.docx or Site Notice Roads 16122020.pages.pdf

Please study this carefully, as there are notices to be put up at your forest entrance, prior to any harvesting operations taking place.

The following is short footage of the hardwood thinning/harvesting video and drone filming we are doing soon:

Hardwood Thinning/Harvesting Video Taster

As you can see, it is a very quick and efficient way of working in a hardwood plantation, especially if there are a lot of briers.

If you have a hardwood plantation with good access (forest road, etc) a current felling licence and grant approval (if needed) and are interested in having a demonstration filmed at your plantation, please contact John Sherlock on 086 257 6864.

Our Teagasc Forestry Development Officer, Kevin O’Connell, has asked that we share the following four videos:

Videos from the Forestry Section of Teagasc

1.  The Business of Forestry:  How to sell timber - Live Virtual Event

2.  Thinning and selling my timber - a forest owner’s experience.

3.  How to sell timber - a harvesting forester’s perspective.

4.  Timber Sales & Taxation

We have received a copy of the following two paged Circular from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s Forestry Division.

Information Required for Forestry Licence

Application Completion

The Department has recently reviewed its systems for the preparation of Appropriate Assessment Screening Determinations, Appropriate Assessment Reports and Appropriate Assessment Determinations.  We have made some improvements to the system to optimise the time of the ecologists to concentrate on the ecology aspects of each application.  Currently these improvements are only applied to private tree felling (TFL) applications, with ecologists working mostly on these files in advance of the system being developed further to assist with forest road works and afforestation licence applications.’

Please click on the following link for some of the updates:

Circular 08 2021 Information Required for Forestry Licence Application Completions.pdf

Please find below the complete one hour webinar Hardwood Focus 2021 ‘Firewood Production from Thinning Broadleaves’

Hardwood Focus 2021 Webinar

- Firewood Production from Thinning Broadleaves

Please click on the following link for a planning leaflet from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine:

DAFM Planning 2021 Leaflet.pdf

This leaflet is relevant for anyone wishing to convert their Ash woodlands to conifers.

Planning Issues Leaflet

(from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine)

The following link, by clicking here, will take you to a 28 page publication offering a step-by-step guide to forest owners in getting timber from their conifer forests to the market place.

If you would like a hard copy, please contact the Group’s Teagasc Forestry Development Officer,  Kevin O’Connell, on e-mail by clicking here.

A step-by-step Guide to Harvesting and Selling Timber from Conifer Forests

To see Volume 11 issue 2 Autumn/Winter 2021, edition - please click on the following link:  Forestry and Energy Review

Forestry and Energy Review