When you think of a redwood forest, you probably immediately think of California. That could soon start to change as the Ireland Redwoods Forest grows. Soon it will be the largest redwood forest outside of the golden state.
The Ireland Redwoods
The Birr County Gardens in County Offaly in Ireland are growing to become the largest grove of redwood trees outside of California. The Ireland Redwoods, which began planting in 2017, are now well on their way to being a beautiful, healthy forest. (1)
Fittingly named Giants Grove, the project was started by Lord Rosse, the Seventh Earl of Rosse, in partnership with Crann “Trees for Ireland”, an organization dedicated to the planting and protection of trees, hedgerows, and woodlands in Ireland. Giants Grove is a passion project for Lord Rosse, who believes the planting of these trees will benefit people for years to come. (1)
“Our grandchildren, their grandchildren, Birr, Ireland and the world will benefit from this magnificent forest grove. These will be the biggest trees in Ireland and the largest collection outside of California.” (1)
Birr Castle Gardens
One of Ireland’s top tourist attractions, the Birr Castle Garden is known for its collection of trees from all over the world. It’s often been praised for having large attractions, including (2):
- the Great Telescope Leviathan. It was built in the 1840s and was the largest in the world for 70 years.
- Ireland’s largest treehouse, constructed in 2013.
Redwoods are a tree that was native to Ireland, so planting Giants Grove is an important step in their restoration. Planting Ireland redwoods is also important for the preservation of the species because global warming is causing the population of giant redwoods in California to decrease. Giants Grove is projected to help sustain the population for at least another 1000 years. (2)
How is the Project Going
So far, Giants Grove has been a success. Though it will take many years for the trees to grow to their full height, by all accounts the grove is doing well. Several steps have been taken to ensure the long term success of the trees (4):
- Redwoods are spaced 10 meters apart
- They are underplanted by indigenous Irish trees such as holly, spindle, rowan, and birch
- The site is growing naturally, allowing thistles and weeds to cover the ground
This natural growing style is crucial for the protection of the redwoods. It allows for important insects, bees, and other wildlife to thrive in the environment, and the groundcover protects the trees from other predators. (4)
How You Can Help the Project
If you are a tree lover and want to help keep Giants Grove, the Ireland Redwoods, and Redwoods around the world a thriving species, then you are in luck. You can sponsor a tree and dedicate it to a family member or loved one and watch that tree grow. (3)
The cost is €500 (594 USD) for a space in the grove. You are then given GPS coordinates for your spot and a certificate once the site has been mapped. You will also receive a one-year membership to Crann – Trees of Ireland, which includes a subscription to their magazine. (3)
Visit their webpage to learn more about sponsoring an Ireland redwood.
Trees are an important part of our society, and this grove will without a doubt help to keep this beautiful species of tree alive and well for generations to come.