Operation Biodiversity: Malachy’s Top 10 Tips For Planting Trees & Hedgegrows

I’m Malachy Doherty and I’m a horticulturist with Tirlán CountryLife. Now that the first frost has come, it’s the ideal time to plant trees and hedgerows.

On my own land just outside Waterford city, I’ve planted a variety of  native Irish trees and hedgerows.  They aren’t just vital pollinators. They also help combat flooding and soil erosion,  are home to wildlife and provide shelter for birds, bees and small mammals from the wind, the heat and cold.

Through our Operation Biodiversity initiative, we’ve specially selected low-cost bundles of native Irish trees and hedging plants for all soil types. Pop in-store to any of our Tirlán CountryLife or Tirlán FarmLife branches we’ll be glad to advise you on the best bundles for your property.

If you’re planting trees or hedgerows in the coming weeks, my top ten tips are:

1. Choose the correct plant for the site – one suited to

the aspect, the soil type and pH.

2. Prepare the soil. If it’s briary or waste ground, weed

control is important. Strim the area to the clay if

possible and rotavate.

3. If your soil is acidic, whitethorn, blackthorn, alder, oak,

Scots pine, mountain ash are good choices.

4. Similarly, in limey soil, a mix of whitethorn, spindle,

hazel, oak and mountain ash works well.

5. If planting hedges and trees, put the hedging plants

to the front, trees to the back. This allows hedgerows

to be trimmed down the line, without damaging the


6. To protect newly-planted hedges, drive a post every

10m at either side and run bailing twine along the

line. This will support the hedging and help prevent

wind rock.

7. Similarly, in exposed areas, drive a stake to support

taller trees. But remove after two years to allow the

8. We recommend you plant bare root hedging within

10 days of purchase. If the weather isn’t suitable,

put the bagged hedging in soil. This will give you a


9. Don’t plant on a very rainy day. The ground will just

be too wet.

10. The ideal time to plant hedging and trees is in cold

weather – but no later than the end of February.

For more on Operation Biodiversity and our tree and hedgerow bundles, log on to www.tirlanfarmlife.com or www.tirlancountrylife.com