19 – 26 March 2023

National Tree Week is the designated week for tree protection awareness in Ireland, organised by the Tree Council of Ireland and Coillte. As members of the Tree Council we are pleased to host the launch of National Tree Week.

National Tree Week has been running for over 35 years,  with this year’s theme of ‘Biodiversity Begins With Trees,’ designed to inspire people to plant and care for trees and to highlight the many benefits they provide to our environment and local communities.

Tree Week Launch
Lecture: The History of Forestry in Ireland: The Development, Decline & the Rejuvenation of Ireland’s Forest Cover
Sunday 19 March at 2.45pm
with John McLoughlin

Tree Week Tour
19-26 March 2023 at 3pm
In celebration of National Tree Week, we will be exploring stories of many majestic and intriguing trees from around the world just as the first leaves and flowers appear.
Meet the oldest, tallest, and rarest individuals. We will travel from through temperate zones and into the tropical rainforest as we investigate the secret lives of plant giants… €5 per person. Book here

Lecture: Frozen in Time: Fossilised forests of Antarctica
Tuesday 21 March at 3pm
Join Charlotte Salter-Townshend as we journey back in time to visit tropical and temperate forests of the frozen continent. Fossils of ancient trees tell us how Antarctica was a hub of evolution at the centre of the supercontinent Gondwanaland.

Annual Augustine Henry Forestry Lecture: ‘To further planting of trees’: Arbor Day in 20th century Ireland
with Dr Mary Forrest, Emeritus Associate Professor UCD Horticulture
and Chair of the Irish Garden Plant Society
Thursday 23 March at 3pm
National Tree Week and National Tree Day have become firm fixtures in the annual calendar of tree and biodiversity events in 21st century Ireland. In this country, a forerunner of these tree events was known as ‘Arbor Day’ a term coined by an American, Julius Sterling Morton, in the 1870s.
This lecture draws on newspaper accounts, photographs and archival material to tell the story of Arbor Day in Ireland. The first Arbor Day took place in 1904. It was organised by the Irish Forestry Society and continued until 1918. From 1918 to 1923, Sinn Fein and local authorities held tree-planting events on Arbor Day. For four years from 1935, the Department of Lands promoted Arbor Day in schools. In 1950, Trees for Ireland reintroduced Arbor Day, promoting tree planting in urban and rural areas and encouraging local community groups to do likewise. Their final Arbor Day took place at Áras an Uachtaráin in 1984. All these Arbor Days followed a similar format with speeches by local politicians and clergy referencing the social, sometimes nationalistic role of trees, followed by tree planting by dignitaries and young people. Some were festive occasions, with school bands and participants parading to the planting site. How much of the Arbor Day planting remains today? There are fine trees on at least one site.

Guided Tour: Tree Tales
Saturday 25 March at 2pm
Take a timeless tour through a treasure trove of trunks on this spring day in the Botanic Gardens. €5 per person. Book here

Tree Week Tours for Schools
Did you know we offer free tours to primary and secondary school groups? This National Tree Week discover the iconic trees and remarkable specimens of the National Botanic Gardens.
On this tour, you will hear some fascinating facts and tales about native and exotic trees alike, and learn how to identify some of our most popular trees.
Suitable for first class and up.
Booking Essential and subject to availability. Phone: (01) 804 0319 or 857 0909. Email: botanicgardens@opw.ie