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Rise of Pocket Forests

Updated: May 6

Native forests provide huge benefits not only to wide range of wildlife from insect, birds to hedgehogs, foxes and amphibians by providing shelter, food and corridors to safely move around, but also to us humans.

Most people know that trees make oxygen, clean air, slow evaporation and soil erosion, slow rain water runoff which helps with flood prevention. But trees helps us to reconnect with nature too and have positive impact on our well-being.

There is mouthing scientific evidence that suggests the beneficial therapeutic effects of forest-based interventions on hypertension, stress, blood-pressure and mental-health disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

However not everyone has access to a forest or park. Many estates do have green areas but most of these are devoid of any forest and are mostly large lawn area with few scattered trees if any. Fortunately for the last few years there is emerging trend of planting a Pocket forests or The Miyawaki Forest.

What is a Pocket forest?

native pocket forest
native pocket forest planting

The term itself suggest that it is a tiny forest. Compared to a typical forest covering many acres or hectares of land, pocket forests can cover area as small as 10 x 10 meters, ideally 20 x 20 meters. The planting density is also higher at around 3-5 plants per square meter compared to typical spacing of 3 meters for a forest planting. This encourage the trees and shrubs to grow much quicker as they compete for light, establishing the forest in shorter time-frame.

But the best benefit is the high biodiversity it can support. A pocket forest usually consist of high variety of native tree species depending on locality: from large oaks, scots pine and birch to medium trees as hawthorn, rowan, wild cherry or alder, to small trees and shrubs as spindle, hazel, dog rose and elder.

native pocket forest
native pocket forest planting

By mixing different native trees and shrubs you will support wider range of insect, birds and wildlife. In above photos you can see 2 examples of pocket forest we have recently planted in residential estates for Trim Tidy Towns. We always aim to use between 9-14 different native tree species to maximize the biodiversity.

So whether you live in residential estate or in the countryside with some land you should be able to find a small area where you can plant a native pocket forest. And if you are in need of help with the tree planting you can always contact us for a free quote.

Happy gardening

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Help us plant more native trees

Every purchase from our website will help us to buy and grow more native trees of which we have so little in Ireland. You can also help by sharing our content, products, or donate additional trees here. You can also help us during the planting days. Every small help will be greatly appreciated.


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