Updated: Feb 4
Did you know that you can plant a Hardwood tree in the West of Ireland from as little as €3? More would be better though. If you live in and love the West of Ireland or are concerned about the environment please read on....
I have worked with wood for more than half of my life and to be honest for years it never bothered me about where it came from or if someone was cutting the wood sustainably or not. Like most people I was oblivious and did not appreciate the real value of trees and wood.
Since starting my Woodturning business I was suddenly thrust into a world I did not really know about and as a result, a new found respect for trees started to emerge. I was looking around me on a daily basis for hardwood trees for my business and found very few, which bothered me immensely. Ireland used to be covered in hardwood trees once upon a time, over 90% coverage in fact. Granted, this was 10,000 years ago. Our current tree coverage is estimated at around 10% and we are supposed to have a government organisation in charge of replanting 4 trees planted for every 1 cut down. What you see out there is mostly forests of planted softwoods which are cut when the trees mature (5 to 10 years) leaving an ugly landscape full of stumps. These are cash crops, used for firewood, fencing, non structural wood etc.
In comes hometree.ie .....
Hometree is a volunteer organisation that grows a variety of trees from seeds and once old enough are transplanted wherever a permanent position can be found. To date they have expanded from their original site and even bought small areas of land for the express purpose of growing new trees. Donations are used to buy new seeds and land suitable for tree planting. My explanation of what they do would not be as effective as theirs so go visit their website today and check out their message. Links at the bottom of this post.
For my part, I now donate a portion of each sale in support of this great endeavour and as of today I have 18 trees planted on my behalf and many more to come. Matt Smith from Hometree has kindly given me access to some pictures below.
The moral of the story here is that trees mean life for more than just our species and what we do now determines the state of our country and the world for the future. Don't leave it to the Irish government to take the initiative here, donate and become part of the solution!!!
If you would like to see what I make out of hardwood, please visit my shop