Carolyn’s Top 1O Tips For The Planting Season

If you are one of the many hundreds of applicants who have applied for the Small Woodland Grant Scheme or the Forest Expansion Scheme, you will be eagerly awaiting the arrival of your Letter of Offer, which is starting to pop into your email/post boxes any day now. But the process can be daunting for those who have not done this before – so what happens now?

Carolyn Trimble, Director of woodland consultancy lndiWoods, responsible for planting over 250,000 native trees every season throughout NI, shares her Top 10 Tips to make the planting season run as smoothly as possible:

  1. Carefully read through the offer letter and check the map, making sure you have applied for the correct area and length of fencing.
  2. Accept the offer letter online; you only have 14 days to do this, or it will expire.
  3. If you are going to plant the land yourself, order your trees and tree guards now to ensure supply. Trees are sold in bundles of 50, so round up or down accordingly.
  4. Rabbits or hares on your land? Protect your trees with guards, which also offer protection from spraying and the elements and give your trees a boost.
  5. Weeding the trees: whether spot-spraying, hand­weeding or mulching, the Forest Service will expect the trees to be weeded when they inspect them.
  6. Think design: plan your access tracks, meandering paths, views, power cables/services, neighbours and open glades if required. You will only plant it once!
  7. Site preparation: keep your grass grazed as long as possible to ensure the vegetation is low before planting. Top rushes, etcetera, whilst the ground is dry.
  8. Fencing: prepare where this is to go and think of access for machinery in wet weather. Book your fencer in early to ensure supply of labour and materials.
  9. Don’t forget to claim your grant on your SAF form in May. Keep all invoices and receipts as you will need proof of payment for the grant.
  10. Alternatively, email your SWGS agreement, including a map, to , and lndiWoods will manage the whole project, including planting the land, for you.

Carolyn told us:
“Autumn is an exciting time of year; waiting for the tree-planting season to begin so we can get on-site and start planting. We work with clients throughout NI, planting small schemes less than 1 ha to sites with over 50,000 trees in them – each one equally as important.”

lndiWoods has a dedicated team of experienced tree planters who specialise in creating native broadleaf woodlands throughout NI. With excellent relationships with Irish tree nurseries, lndiWoods has trees and tree guards secured for the season. lndiWoods Tree Shop is NOW OPEN for the 2022-23 season for pre-orders. The Tree Shop offers native Irish trees, hedging, tree guards and delivery throughout NI. Again, due to ongoing restrictions, trees will be in short supply this year, so it is strongly advised to reserve stock early.

In addition to your grants, you may be eligible for Carbon Credits – this is a fantastic opportunity to add financial benefit to your land. Talk to lndiWoods about your options before you plant on 028 3752 7100.