National Tree Day Ireland and the Kindness of the Twitter Community!

The package from the USA could not have arrived at a better time…for Thursday the 11th of October is National Tree Day here in Ireland!

There are so many fabulous, caring people on Twitter, that it has become, for me, more than just a social media.

David, one of a fantastic group of people, answered my call for seeds to plant here at Bealtaine Cottage, with a box full of tree seeds…acorns, all different varieties!

The excitement here at the cottage was tangible as the post arrived and the package from America was opened.

Tara, from new York City, also sent me some wonderful Black Tomato seeds.

Lá na gCrann 2012
TREE DAY 2012 is a day for reminding everyone about the importance of trees. Ireland was once a much forested land, leading up to the 16th century.

At the end of the 16th century, Ireland was still a relatively wooded country, with one-eight of its surface area covered in forests, but this was soon to change and the continued decimation of the Irish forests continued unabated until the present day.

Ireland currently has about 11% tree cover, but if one takes into account the fact that about half of that, at least, is the horrid, tightly planted, plantations of Sitkha Spruce, then the actual coverage figure is considerably lower…possibly as little as 5%! We need to plant trees!

In Elizabethan times, the extent of the forests in the southwest of Ireland was almost legendary.

 The Irish forests were a considered to be an impediment to troop movements and a place of concealment for Irish rebels…not unlike the merry men of Sherwood Forest and their  use of the trees as protectors of their freedom, so much so that Sir John Perrot, Queen Elizabeth’s representative in Ireland, suggested that the woods be cut to ”deprive the rebels of their place of succour”.

English settlers started the clearance of the forests for their own security and prosperity.

Wood was a much traded commodity, as boats and houses were built using the precious resource.

Today has been a good tree planting day here at Bealtaine Smallholding, with two fine Sweet Chestnuts being planted…both gifts from well-wishers…Thank you Helen and Blair from Sligo!

As the Autumn moves through towards midwinter and into Spring, any fine day is good for planting trees, so there is much opportunity ahead of us.

This Thursday will be a day for planting trees and thinking about the importance of trees in our lives…for, without them, we have no life!

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