Let’s plant a tree, or twelve / Plantons un arbre ou douze

Native Woodland Trust, tree planting event, Ireland, Wicklow, Laragh, oak, tree

The tallest oak in the forest was once just a nut who held its ground.

Well, let’s hope the saplings planted by the acorns at the weekend hold their ground and become mighty oak trees…

The gloves were too big for their small hands, the ground too rocky, and the mallet too heavy, but the acorns still managed to plant a dozen oak saplings, as part of the Native Woodland Trust‘s volunteer tree planting event.

On Saturday, we drove down to Laragh, Co Wicklow, where the Native Woodland Trust owns a 20-acre site, high on the hills between Laragh and Annamoe. Over a hundred other volunteers turned up for the event – families, couples, groups of friends, even the odd politician. So many people indeed that a minibus was organised to shuttle participants between the car park at Trooperstown Forest Park and the site.


Le plus grand chêne de la forêt fut jadis une simple graine qui a tenu bon.

Alors espérons que les gaulis plantés ce weekend par les graines de chêne tiennent bon et deviennent un jour de grands chênes…

Les gants étaient trop grands pour leurs petites mains, le sol trop rocailleux, et le maillet trop lourd. Mais cela n’a pas empêché les graines de chêne de planter une douzaine de jeunes chênes, lors d’une journée de bénévolat organisée par le Native Woodland Trust, une association de protection des forêts indigènes d’Irlande.

Samedi, nous sommes donc allés à Laragh, Co Wicklow, où le Native Woodland Trust possède un site de 10 hectares, sur les collines entre Laragh et Annamoe. Plus d’une centaine de bénévoles ont répondu présent : des couples, des familles, des groupes d’amis, et même un élu ou deux. Il y avait tant de monde qu’un minibus s’avéra nécessaire pour transporter les participants du parking de la forêt de Trooperstown jusqu’au site. 

Native Woodland Trust, tree planting event, Ireland, Wicklow, Laragh, oak, tree Native Woodland Trust, tree planting event, Ireland, Wicklow, Laragh, oak, tree Native Woodland Trust, tree planting event, Ireland, Wicklow, Laragh, oak, tree

We had arranged to meet up with our friend Mary Ann and her two sons. Together we hiked up the steep, muddy track to the site. The hillside resonated with the sound of mallets banging on wooden sticks.

NWT Reserves Officer Rebecca Doyle welcomed us, before giving us a quick demo on how to plant a tree. ‘People often ask how long before the trees are ready to be cut down. So rest assured that no trees will ever be harvested in this woodland.’ These ‘nuts’ will be allowed to hold their ground in perpetuity.

Off we went with a handful of saplings, a shovel, a mallet, an armful of sticks and a few plastic tubes. Picking a bracken-covered spot two or three shovel lengths away from other saplings, we happily stuck the shovel in the ground, only to hit some rocks. It took a few minutes and several attempts to make a T-shaped hole.

Mermaid carefully placed the tiny sapling in the ground, and replaced the sods around it with her feet. Brian planted a stick beside it, and all six children took turns banging it in with the mallet. Then a white plastic sheath was pulled down over the tree and tied to the stick to protect the sapling from grazing deer.

And repeat, a dozen times. 


Nous avions donné rendez-vous sur place à notre amie Mary Ann et ses deux fils. Ensemble, nous avons gravi le chemin raide et boueux jusqu’au site. Le coteau résonnait de coups de maillet martelant des piquets de bois.

Là, Rebecca Doyle, responsable des réserves du Native Woodland Trust, nous a accueillis, avant de nous montrer rapidement comment planter un arbre. “On nous demande souvent quand ces arbres seront prêts à être tombés. Sachez que l’exploitation de nos forêts est tout à fait hors de question.” Ces “graines” auront donc une chance de tenir bon pour de bon.

Nous voilà donc partis avec en main une poignée de gaudis, une bêche, des piquets et quelques tubes de plastique. Stoppant en un coin à quelques longueurs de pelle des autres jeunes arbres, nous avons gaiement enfoncé la bêche dans le sol, et immédiatement trouvé des pierres. Il nous fallut quelques minutes et plusieurs tentatives pour creuser un joli trou en forme de T.

Sirène a délicatement déposé le jeune plant de chêne dans le sol, puis a tassé la terre tout autour avec ses bottes. Brian planta un piquet juste à côté, puis les six enfants prirent leur tour pour l’enfoncer à coups de maillet. Il fallut ensuite enfiler un tube de plastique blanc sur le jeune arbre, et l’attacher au piquet, pour le protéger des chevreuils. 

Et de répéter le procédé une douzaine de fois. 

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Mermaid was by far the most enthusiastic tree planter. She kept at it until we ran out of saplings, and most people had already left the site. 


Sirène était de loin la plus enthousiaste de l’équipe. Elle ne s’arrêta que lorsque notre poignée de jeunes plants s’épuisa, et que la plupart des bénévoles avaient déjà quitté les lieux.

Native Woodland Trust, tree planting event, Ireland, Wicklow, Laragh, oak, tree Native Woodland Trust, tree planting event, Ireland, Wicklow, Laragh, oak, tree Native Woodland Trust, tree planting event, Ireland, Wicklow, Laragh, oak, tree Native Woodland Trust, tree planting event, Ireland, Wicklow, Laragh, oak, tree

Our littlest acorn among oak saplings, Pebbles also gave it his best shot.


La plus petite graine (de chêne) parmi tous ces chênes, Caillou s’en donna aussi à cœur joie.

Native Woodland Trust, tree planting event, Ireland, Wicklow, Laragh, oak, tree Native Woodland Trust, tree planting event, Ireland, Wicklow, Laragh, oak, tree

Jedi mostly played with his two friends, while Squirrel was busy testing the equipment.


Pendant que Jedi jouait avec ses deux copains, Ecureuil testait le matériel.

Thanks to the record attendance, more than 600 trees were planted in just over two hours. In years to come, once the canopy has developed, the woodland will again be planted, this time with native wild flowers such as bluebells and purple orchids.

It will eventually provide a safe haven for wildlife and people alike – for ever more. How wonderful that our acorns have played their part in this forward-looking project!


Grâce à l’affluence record, quelque 600 arbres furent plantés en à peine plus de deux heures. Dans les années à venir, une fois que la canopée se sera développée, le site sera planté à nouveau, cette fois avec des fleurs sauvages natives d’Irlande, telles que jacinthes des bois et orchidées pourpres.

Ce bois deviendra à la longue un refuge pour la faune, et aussi le public, pour toujours. Quel bonheur que les graines de chêne aient joué leur rôle dans ce merveilleux projet d’avenir !

Native Woodland Trust, tree planting event, Ireland, Wicklow, Laragh, oak, tree

Additional information

Native Woodland Trust, tree planting event, Ireland, Wicklow, Laragh, oak, tree

The Native Woodland Trust
Stoneybrook
Kilteel 
Co Kildare
Tel. +353 (0)86 816 9924
Email info@nativewoodlandtrust.ie / volunteers@nativewoodlandtrust.ie
Facebook @nativewoodlandtrust

The Native Woodland Trust is dedicated to the preservation of Ireland’s remaining ancient woodlands. It is also committed to the restoration of Ireland’s original ecosystem, through the re-creation of woodlands, using only native seed.

The Trust has been set up in such a way that even if it is dissolved, the woodlands must be transferred to the care of another similar organisation – so the continuity of its work is guaranteed.

The Native Woodland Trust is a non-governmental organisation (NGO), and a registered Irish charity (CHY14035). You can support its work by becoming a member (Adult €35; Family €40; Junior €20), or by sponsoring a tree (€34).


En savoir plus

The Native Woodland Trust
Stoneybrook
Kilteel 
Co Kildare
Tel. +353 (0)86 816 9924
Email info@nativewoodlandtrust.ie / volunteers@nativewoodlandtrust.ie
Facebook @nativewoodlandtrust

Le Native Woodland Trust se consacre à la préservation des forêts natives d’Irlande, ainsi qu’à la restauration de l’écosystème d’origine du pays, par la re-création des forêts indigènes, en utilisant exclusivement des graines natives.

L’organisation a été fondée de façon à ce que, même si elle venait à être dissoute, ses forêts seraient transmises à une organisation similaire, garantissant ainsi la pérennité de son œuvre.

Le Native Woodland Trust est une organisation non-gouvernementale et une association caritative enregistrée en Irlande. Pour soutenir son travail, vous pouvez en devenir membre (adulte 35 € ; famille 40 € ; junior 20 €) ou parrainer un arbre (34 €).

 

ethannevelyn

 Diary of an imperfect mumCountry KidsTammymum ethannevelyn.com

24 Responses to “Let’s plant a tree, or twelve / Plantons un arbre ou douze

  • Beautiful shots! Thank you for sharing Your fabulous experience with us at #ablogginggoodtime

  • Hi, what a great idea and the children all look like they are having great fun, Chloe #fabfridaypost

  • What a brilliant initiative and wow to the attendance!! You’ll be able to take the acorns back in years to come and see how they’re growing!! Planting memories too I guess!! ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬
    Karen | TwoTinyHands recently posted…Tintagel and Trebarwith Sands

    • Hi Karen,
      I love how you said we planted memories – this is so true! It will be a good few years before we can see any meaningful difference, but it was a fantastic experience alright!
      Thanks for hosting #FamilyFun 🙂

  • I think this was an event you could not have missed, what with your blog name being four acorns! Trees are in your nature!
    It will be brilliant to visit your tree from time to time, if you are able, and your children too.

    #countrykids

    • You are so right! To be honest I didn’t know beforehand that we’d be planting oak trees, but it was the perfect fit for my acorns!

  • It’s fantastic that so many people turned out to help plant the trees, it sounds like it was a fun event to be a part of. I bet the kids had a marvellous time planting their saplings, it’s great to see them all so hands on and putting all their effort into the tree planting. It’s amazing how many trees were planted and I bet you’re proud to have been a part of it, it’s somewhere you can go in a few years time and see how they’ve all grown.

    Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids.
    Coombe Mill recently posted…Country Kids 25th February 2017

    • Fiona,
      It was great and deeply satisfying to see so many people getting together with a very worth charity, and plant trees for the future of Ireland. We will make sure to go back in a few years time, and also to attend other such events around the county. As the saying goes, ‘the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second best time is now.’
      Thanks for hosting #CountryKids

  • What a great idea, you can get much more done with many more hands. Be so nice going back in years when they have grown

    • The Native Woodland Trust were amazed at the number of volunteers turning up. Let’s hope the momentum keeps going for their future planting events!

  • What a fantastic opportunity to be part of #countrykidsfun
    Sonia Cave recently posted…Bike Ride Adventure!

  • Awww how lovely – this sounds right up our street – the woodlands are so important. Great job! Sarah #FabFridayPost
    Sarah Stockley recently posted…Tinyme reviews

  • Hi Annette, what a worthwhile way to spend a Saturday! Making tree planting fun will stay with the children, hopefully helping to ingrain that nature is valuable. I do love your photos, Pebbles looks like a little pixie with his little hat…. The schools here sometimes go out tree planting to replace trees destroyed in wildfires in the summer. It is something my daughter remembers doing and enjoying (probably because they didn’t have lessons!).

    #ablogginggoodtime
    Debbie Roberts recently posted…Monday Morning Blog Club 27/02/17

    • Debbie,
      It was a great day indeed. My daughter especially really got into it – she’s probably the most green-fingered in the family. She’ll remember this day for a long time, and I’d say she’ll be happy to do it again, should the opportunity arise. This is in my view the best way to learn, and a ‘lesson’ that will stick with her far longer than any school worksheet! x

  • What a fantastic project to be involved with! Looks like hard work, though I’m sure it’ll be more than worth it. Love the photos!
    Lauren recently posted…How to Hike with a Toddler

  • Love how much fun your little acorns are having planting trees and how lovely to know that they won’t be cut down. #CountryKids

    • They really enjoyed it, and we’ll go back in years to come to check on our oaklings 🙂

  • Planting trees is a great activity. My parents have two horse chestnut trees in their garden due to us planting them as children. #CountryKids
    Helena recently posted…My Monthly Bucket List – March

    • It was a great event to be part of. My dad has several plots of woodland back home in France that he affectionately calls ‘our inheritance’ 🙂

  • I love this post and I love that the kids really got stuck right into it. Love it! Well Done!! Thank you so much for sharing with us on #FabFridayPost x
    Su {Ethan & Evelyn} recently posted…🌹 Happy International Woman’s Day with Indigo Herbs Rose Blossom Tea 🌹 Review & Giveaway

    • We all loved it, Su! Thank you for featuring me as blogger of the week with this post on #FabFridayPost! Totally unexpected and very much appreciated – a fab Friday indeed! 😉

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