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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Shrubs in Ireland ... Hedging in Ireland

Native Irish Shrubs --- List of Shrubs Native to Ireland.

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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 7:04 pm    Post subject: Native Irish Shrubs --- List of Shrubs Native to Ireland. Reply with quote

Native Irish Shrubs --- List of Shrubs Native to Ireland.
by GPI

Earlier this year I wrote a series of seventeen articles for this resource detailing our native Irish trees, these pieces were very well received judging by the responses they produced.
However, the list did raise a few eyebrows. How so, well have a look at the list in full and see if you can guess.

The native oaks, Sessile Oak (Quercus petraea) and Pedunculate Oak (Quercus robur).

Ash (Fraxinus excelsior)

Wych Elm (Ulmus glabra)

The native birches, Silver Birch (Betula pendula) and Downey Birch (Betula pubescens)

Black Alder (Alnus glutinosa)

The native cherries, Common/Wild Cherry (Prunus avium) and
Bird Cherry (Prunus padus)

Aspen or Trembling poplar (Populus tremula)

The native willows, Goat Willow (Salix caprea), Grey Willow (Salix atrocinerea), Bay Willow (Salix pentandra) and Eared Willow (Salix aurita)

Mountain Ash or Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)

Whitebeam (Sorbus hibernica)

Crab apple (Malus sylvestris)

Yew (Taxus baccata)

Juniper (Juniperus communis)

Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris)

Blackthorn/Sloe (Prunus spinosa)

Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)

Killarney Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo)

Did you see any native trees missing? Well a few people thought they did, when they were quick to point out "you left out Hazel and Holly", and "where was elderberry in your list?". These eagle-eyed gardeners were correct, to a point, but I had my reasons for holding back a few of our natives.

Some of the natives not included on that earlier list, are what I would class as shrubs or bushes, woody plants which are distinguished from trees by their multiple stems, at or just above ground level. Shrubs will usually have softer wood than trees whilst achieving a lower ultimate height, usually less than 6 metres (18ft) tall.

The native shrubs that I have not dealt with, but intend to cover over the next few weeks, are some of the best that you can include within a mixed hedgerow. The list includes the following plants, click them for further info....

Hazel (Corylus avellana)

Common Privet (Ligustrum vulgare)

European Spindle (Euonymus europaeus),

Guelder Rose (Viburnum opulus),

Dog Rose (Rosa canina),

Elder / Elderberry (Sambucus nigra).

Holly (Ilex aquifolium).

These are the shrubs that continually occur naturally in Ireland without being introduced by man. They have developed in conjunction with the surrounding plant life, animals, fungi and microbes. This creates an ecosystem, sort of like a productive town filled with the townspeople of the animal, plant, and insect kingdom, all slotting into their individual places in natures hierarchy. In fact, native shrubs are the ideal candidate to provide food and shelter for our native wild animals, all the while manufacturing oxygen for animal and human alike.

From mid-October to mid-March, bare-rooted hedging transplants of these native shrubs will be available through all good nurseries and garden centres. Plants that are supplied bare-root comprise just plant stem, roots and whatever clay still clings to the roots. Comfortingly economical to buy due to the lower production costs involved, they are often 1/3 the price of similar potted varieties, an added sweetener to an already worthy purchase.

During their evolutionary period, such native shrubs and hedging plants will have adapted to the climate, exposure and soil type particular to this green isle. Imagine that, plants that actually prefer your soil and windy rain-swept location, when all the while you may have been struggling in vain to force some foreign plants to grow in a position they despise. As crazy as it seems, the answer to your planting problems may be closer to home than you think.

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