Ireland's Biodiversity Awareness Campaign

In The Garden














Think Native!

If you plant a native Irish tree such as oak, rowan or birch, it will support more native plants, birds, animals and insects than an exotic tree would.  For example, a native oak tree growing in Ireland can support about 290 different species of plants, animals, birds and insects for food and shelter.  Our native trees are also an important part of Ireland’s rich natural heritage.  

Trees provide countless benefits to the earth and to humans; they produce oxygen, absorb carbon dioxide, protect soil, prevent flooding and store and recycle nutrients and provide a vital raw material.  So they are vital in the fight against climate change too.

Depending on your size of garden, here’s some suggested native Irish trees and shrubs that are widely available:


Flowers for all gardens

Bluebell (Hyacinoides non-scripta), Cowslips (Primula veris), Primrose (Primula vulgaris), Oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare), St. Johns wort (Hypericum), Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)

Bluebells, (Hyacinoides non-scripta)

Shrubs for all gardens

Holly (Ilex aquifolium), Guelder Rose (Viburnum opulus), Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclumenum), Dog Rose (Rosa canina), Hawthorn (Crategus monogyna), Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa)



Small Gardens

Silver Birch (Betula pendula), Rowan / Mountain Ash (Sorbus aucuparia), Wild cherry (Prunus avium), Crab Apple (Malus sylvestris), Strawberry Tree (Arbutas unedo)

Medium gardens – suitable trees

Willow (Salix), Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), Wild cherry (Prunus avium), Silver Birch (Betula pendula), Rowan / Mountain Ash (Sorbus aucuparia), Hazel (Corylus avellana), Yew (Taxus baccata)

Large gardens – suitable trees

Oak (Quercus robur), Crab Apple (Malus sylvestris), Rowan / Mountain Ash (Sorbus aucuparia), Wild Cherry (Prunus avium), Silver Birch (Betula pendula), Ash (Fraxinus), Aspen (Populus tremula), Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris)

Oak Tree
©2007 Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government