Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Pat Purcell Papers
Planting and Registering Trees in Ireland

Source: Michael Purcell c.2011

From Pat Purcell Papers.

Planting and Registering Trees in Ireland.

By the end of the 17th century a great deal of Ireland's natural Woodlands had been cut down and timber was beginning to be in short supply. Sir William Petty suggested that two million trees should be planted. It would appear that over 200,000 (two hundred thousand) trees were "planted" in Carlow between 1770 and 1890!

In 1698, the first of seventeen Acts was applied to Ireland to enforce, or at least to encourage, the planting of trees. The provisions of the 1765 Act stated that, on the expiration of his lease, a tenant could claim for the value of the trees that he had planted, provided that he certified this planting and then lodged the certificate with the clerk of the peace for the county. This exercise resulted in the Register of Trees which have survived for various counties in Ireland. The registrations were recorded at the quarter sessions and published in The Dublin Gazette.

Subsequently this information was entered in the ledger entitled Register of Trees into which, depending on the diligence of the Justice of the Peace, the original affidavits were copied out in full or in summary form.

This information can be useful to genealogists interested in a particular family who had long-established roots in a particular townland or county.

Michael Purcell believes that many of the trees claimed for during this period were not planted, the application was a means of availing of the grant, all one needed was a friendly Justice of the Peace or a fellow Magistrate to witness your signature on claiming the grant.

Sources: Crown and Peace Records, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Pat Purcell Papers, Browne-Clayton Archive.

Transcribed by M. Purcell c2011.


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2001 Ireland Genealogy Projects, IGP TM