‘Plant for our Planet’: Public urged to back National Tree Week 2019

Coillte is asking the public to get behind National Tree Week 2019, which will officially kick off this Sunday (March 31).

Set to run until Sunday, April 7, the week will also feature a special event displaying a carbon bench, which shows off what a tonne of carbon will look like.

This year’s theme is encouraging the public to ‘Plant for our Planet’.

To celebrate the carbon bench, Andrew Doyle, Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, joined Coillte and 94 school children from the local Newtownmountkennedy National School to celebrate.

A tree was planted in Coillte to mark the day.

Built by Enniskillen-based Balcas Sawmill, the bench is 1m³ of timber, shaped into a seat and it represents one tonne of carbon removed from the atmosphere by the tree and now locked up into the timber.

Coillte underlined the significant role trees play in the national climate change strategy, soaking up carbon emissions while also providing a renewable and sustainable building resource through their timber.

Trees improve air quality, provide shade, increase biodiversity, provide food and shelter for wildlife, reduce local wind speeds and reduce the effects of flash flooding, the semi-state entity underlined.

Since its inception, over half a million trees have been planted throughout the country during Tree Week, with the public urged to continue this trend of “improving lives and boosting sustainability”.

Head of external affairs for Coillte Ciaran Fallon said: “It’s fantastic to see so many young people out engaging with nature today and equally brilliant for everyone to come to Coillte and see the carbon bench.

“We would love to harness this enthusiasm and encourage both young and old to get out and enjoy nature and most importantly to plant a tree.”

Meanwhile, president of the National Tree Council Joseph McConville said: “National Tree Week is an opportunity for local groups to get together and make a lasting difference in their communities.

This year we’d love to see even more organisations or individuals rolling up their sleeves and ‘planting for our planet’ to help maintain our environment for future generations to come.

For those interested in learning more and finding out about events happening in their area, further details can be obtained at: www.treecouncil.ie.