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native trees/shrubs for exposed connemara site


 
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:06 pm    Post subject: native trees/shrubs for exposed connemara site Reply with quote

a colleague of mine has a house in west connemara, less than a mile from the sea, and there's a half acre of mainly tussocky grass around the house with some fuschia. he'd like to plant it with something, but nothing too high maintenance as it's a holiday home.
can anyone recommend what might grow best in these conditions? rowan?
my colleague is a gaelgoir so would probably prefer something native, with a bit of history and mythology attached.
something he could harvest for the odd crop of firewood would be a plus, but this is certainly not a must-have.
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look around whats growing locally.
If nothing even in the local landscape forget it just enjoy what you have.
You will be a very old person before you ever get to harvest firewood from around coastal areas.
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, there aren't too many cues from the local landscape, apart from what may be a willow growing in a nearby garden.
as i mentioned, though, the firewood thing is a bonus rather than a requirement.
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Sive
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't give up so easily as there could be many reasons why locals haven't tried to establish gardens. Take a look at this website:

http://www.seasidenursery.biz/

They may have some good advice and they're in Clifden, so should be convenient.
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Sive
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

here's another website with good advice:

http://seasideplants.net/
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tippben
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding locally growing trees, I'd actually drive for a few miles north and south for a good look at what's there, and possibly more importantly, what isn't. Is there salt wind regularly? Thorns (Cratageous monogyna, Prunus spinosa), Sallow (Salix caprea), Alder (Alnus glutinosa), Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia), and Sea Buckthorn ( Hippophae rhamnoides - not Irish native, but native to Scotland, England and France; just didn't quite make it before the Irish sea formed).

All of these tend to do reasonably well in exposed and coastal sites. If there is salt blown on the wind, it will burn the foliage, resulting in a slower growth rate. If it's very windy, the trees will naturally grow away from the prevailing wind.

Definitely plant the smallest trees possible, given "instant impact" considerations. They will establish much better, and get used to the local conditions quicker. Large trees (standards - 6' clear stem, 50 litre pot plus) are usually grown in Italy, and would go into shock. If your friend cannot guarantee regular care and watering, they could be throwing hundreds of euros away.

If you can find a local "ecotype" of successful plants, it is worth trying to propagate from that local stock, as it will be adapted to the conditions. There is info on that on other threads here.

Good luck!
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djh
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is striking about the west of Ireland is how well trees grow in sheltered places. In valleys and around streams there is extra soil, washed down from the hills, as well as shelter but in a lot of these places ornamental trees were planted after first making artificial shelter.

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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cheers all, will be passing on all this info.
his house is in a fairly denuded landscape (though japanese knotweed seems happy enough nearby).
the house would be on probably the highest point of a low peninsula near carna, but would not be subject to sea spray, but i would suspect there would be salt on the wind.
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