Frequently Asked Questions

What is the maximum area one can plant?
Up to 50 hectares (ha) can be planted without the need for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Projects in excess of 50 ha will have to have an EIA. In certain environmentally sensitive areas projects less than 50ha could require an EIA.

Can premiums be passed onto family members?
In the event of the death of the person claiming the premium all premiums due will be released to next of kin, once certain formalities are carried out. Immediate family members will continue to receive farmer rate of premium if that is the rate being paid. To transfer premia between living family members is more complex but it can be done.

Who looks after the forestry after it is planted?
Forestry Services Ltd look after each plantation until it passes the 2nd and final grant inspection. This is part of the grant payment and does not cost the client anything. We discuss each client’s situation at this point and recommend a course for future management. Any of our visits from then on would be invoiced.

Should I insure my forestry?
Emphatically yes.

What is the cost of thinning my forestry?
Under the Forestry Services Ltd Joint Management Agreement, the thinning does not cost the client anything.

Is there much paperwork involved?
Unfortunately all forest operations involve a degree of paperwork.

Do I need a felling licence to cut my trees in the forest?

Do I retain ownership of the land and the trees?

If I plant, will I lose my Single Farmer Payment?
No, however every farmer should discuss their own case with the local Forestry Services representative as certain conditions may apply.

If I plant will I lose my disadvantaged area payments?
Yes, but only on the land planted.

Who regulates the forestry schemes and payments?
The Forest Service (not to be confused with ourselves) of the Department of Agriculture based in Wexford regulate all aspects of Irish Forestry.

How long does it take a conifer crop to mature?
Irish conifer crops mature quicker than anywhere else in Europe which is a huge advantage. The time involved varies with the type of land planted and species of tree planted. Typically our main crop is Sitka spruce which can be mature in 30 years.

What work is covered by the grant payments?
All work necessary to establish a forest crop which includes all paperwork, fencing, drainage, ground preparation, supply of plants, planting, supply of fertilizer, fertilising, replacement of failures, vegetation control, shaping in the case of broadleaves etc.

Who can tell me what species of trees my land is capable of growing?
The Forestry Services representative will tell you the most suitable species but the Inspector from the Forest Service has the final say.

What is the procedure for getting a grant and premium for planting?

  • First get a forester to assess the land and fill out a Form 1
  • Complete your planting operation
  • Your forester and yourself fill out a Form 2 to apply for the grant and premium
  • After a Forest Service inspection the grant would be paid to the company and the premium to the client.

Is there a thinning grant?
There is no thinning grant for conifers. A Woodland Improvement grant exists for broadleaves which covers a pre-commercial thinning i.e. a necessary but unprofitable thinning.

Are timber sales tax free?

What revenue is available from thinning and clearfell?
At present, timber prices are excellent and anyone with a timber crop to be harvested should contact their Forestry Services representative to have their crop assessed. As regards actual revenue, a good quality first thinning could return over €500/ha while a clearfell crop could return over €30,000/ha.

If my forestry is damaged is there a grant available for replanting etc?
A reconstitution grant exists for some categories of damage but crucially not for fire. Fire should be insured against.

Can a forest be landscaped?
Yes, within reason. It is possible to put a range of tree species through crop which break up the canopy and provide seasonal colour.

Am I charged for a site visit?
Assessments for planting are free. There is a scale of charges for other visits. Contact your local forester for details.

Forestry Services Links


Contact Forestry Services »


Plans were drawn up for a forest road construction and layout. After grant approval by the Forest Service, construction began along with other operations such as the brashing of inspection paths to allow the owners and potential buyers to monitor ...

McCarney Family, Hacketstown, Co. Carlow