Tree avenue to be planted at the Irish National War Memorial Gardens
18 Acer x fremanii ‘Autumn Blaze’ trees will be planted along the garden's entrance road
10 February 2022
A new avenue of 18 Acer x fremanii ‘Autumn Blaze’ trees will be planted this winter on the entrance road to the Irish National War Memorial Gardens (INWMG). This new avenue will replace trees lost over the last number of years and the twelve trees identified as presenting a danger to the public in a recent independent tree survey.
The single species avenue will provide a formal, majestic approach to the gardens, as was the original design intention. The species selected is fast growing, has great autumn colour, will add to the biodiversity and at maturity will be 40-50 ft. tall.
Trees are fundamental to our wellbeing and provide many important habitats for wildlife. Whether they are managed for their cultural, amenity, heritage or environmental benefits, their management must be balanced and proportionate to the actual risks from trees. Trees naturally lose branches or may fall. The OPW has a Tree Safety Management Policy for National Historic Properties including the INWMG. We have a duty of care to the community and we must balance the need for safety with the conservation and amenity priorities of the trees in the INWMG on a risk assessment basis.
Following a visual inspection by the park manager at the gardens, who raised concerns about the safety of the trees on the entrance avenue, an independent arborist was commissioned to undertake a full technical survey of the trees. This survey was reviewed on site by the Chief Park Superintendent, who agreed with the finding of the consultant arborist.
Twelve trees, mainly Norway and Silver Maples along the entrance avenue were recommended for felling due to decay caused by fungal infections such as Ganoderma and due to their weakened structural crowns. Unfortunately, these trees pose an unacceptable risk to the public, on a very busy pedestrian and vehicular avenue and must be felled. They are especially high risk for slower moving, mobility impaired people.
The INWMG in Islandbridge, Dublin, are dedicated to the memory of the 49,400 Irish soldiers who died in the First World War. The name of every single soldier is contained in the Harry Clarke illustrated manuscripts in the granite book rooms.
The gardens were enjoyed by over half a million visitors during 2021 and are managed by the gardening team as a designed landscape, supporting a range of rich biodiversity habitats.