Additional Services

Additional services provided by Forestry Services Ltd

Forestry and Wind Farm Development Consultancy

The removal of forestry to enable the construction of windfarms is controlled under the Forest Service policy on the granting of felling licences for wind farm development, June 2011.

Limited felling licences are required for both infrastructure and turbulence felling.

Forestry Services Ltd have and are currently acting for a number of windfarm development companies in all forestry issues related to windfarm development. We are now in a position to provide a turnkey service to such companies encompassing the following:

  • Limited Felling Licence applications
  • Sourcing land suitable for afforestation to fulfil re-planting conditions
  • Afforestation technical approval applications
  • Establishment and management of new plantations
  • Re-forestation in areas of turbulence felling
  • Timber harvesting/clearance and sales – pictures of clearance we got from dermots fella, with subtitle - Forestry Services Ltd clearing trees for windfarm development
  • Valuations
  • Forest road construction
  • Tree landscaping for specific projects

Licences must be secured before felling can take place. Our advice to wind farm development companies is to allow up to 12 months to go through the necessary process to secure the approvals from the Forest Service. Forestry Services Ltd completes compensation application for clients. If you require assistance in such applications please contact us.

Forestry Management

All forest owners who have greater than 5ha of broadleaf forest or 10ha of conifer forest are required to prepare a  year 10 management plan. Forestry Services Ltd prepare such plans for forest owners and provide management services for the crop as requested by the owners. Contact your local forester here

Forestry Valuations

Forestry Services Ltd provides a comprehensive forest valuation service to clients for use in the following areas:

  • Sale or purchase
  • Collateral
  • Insurance
  • Compulsory sale or compensation
  • Disclosure in financial statements
  • Financial management
  • Prospectus
  • Probate
  • Taxation
  • Other individual circumstances
Forestry Insurance

Every year hundreds, sometimes thousands, of acres of forests are lost to fire. If you value your crop you should consider insuring it. Forestry Services Limited offer a range of insurance cover in relation to your Forestry enterprise.

There are 3 options available as outlined below. The costs vary depending on your specific situation. Contact Forestry Services for more details.

  • Option 1: Basic insurance package. Covers principally fire, Lightning flood, fire brigade charges.
  • Option 2: Replanting Allowance.
  • Option 3: Public liability.

While option 1 is the minimum requirement; attention should be given to options 2 and 3. Should you wish to proceed, one of our team of Foresters will call to you to outline the package in more detail and complete all paperwork.

The normal Insurance year runs from first April to 31 March.

Forestry purchase and sales

Forestry Services ltd. provides a turnkey service to clients who wish to purchase or dispose of forest properties. This encompasses an inventory and valuation of the property and matching an investor to a vendor. The company pride themselves on giving sound advise and provide future management based on the advise given.

Reforestation

We undertake reforestation projects on both establish and maintain contracts and on a consultancy basis. Costs associated with reforestation are site specific. Contact us for advice on reforestation.

Estate management and Landscaping

Landscaping
Forestry Services Ltd set up a landscaping business following a number of requests from builders and property developers who were existing clients of the company. They were finding it difficult to get a quality, cost competitive service on their sites. The company has also carried out projects for Galway County Council. The landscaping division has been a significant contributor to company growth and it is expected to remain one of the busiest arms of Forestry Service Ltd. into the future.

Estate Management
Estate management is one of the most challenging types of work in the forestry sector, frequently involving broadleaf and conifer mixtures. It is a fascinating job which requires specific skills in both silviculture and wildlife management while availing of the numerous grants which are available to assist in such management. Estate owners may not always be familiar with the array of grants and supports available to them. The staff of Forestry Services Ltd is up to date with the latest grant levels and qualifying criteria. The company currently manages estates in all regions ensuring that all our managers have expertise in everything from watercourse management to the harvesting and marketing of broadleaves.

Tree Species Selection

A number of factors need to be considered when selecting species;

  • Soil Type
  • 
Drainage

  • Exposure and Elevation

  • Landscape

  • Environmental considerations.

  • Production Potential

When taking the above factors into account a species can be chosen based on the local conditions on the farm. In certain areas the presence of deer, rabbits or squirrels may limit choice of species, and trees planted may require additional protection. 
The Forest Service approves the following species for payment of grant aid.

Other broadleaves not on the list can be planted in small groups in order to give color and variety along road edges or where plantations are adjacent to dwelling houses.


Species Information


The following are some brief notes on the most common species planted in Ireland. For illustrative purposes grant premium categories (GPCs) are listed beside each species and grouped together under the broad headings used for grant and premium payment. You should consult Forestry Services Ltd for more information on species selection.


Non-Diverse Conifers (GPC 2)

Sitka spruce

  • 
Grows on a wide range of sites

  • Produces the largest amounts of volume over a wide range of sites
  • Avoid planting in frost pockets

  • A good general purpose structural timber.

  • Timber usually matures from 35 to 50 years

Lodgepole pine

  • One of the few species to grow on very poor soils

  • Mainly planted in mixture with Sitka spruce
  • Timber of variable quality.

10% Diverse Mix (GPC 3)

In order to create diversity a second species such as Japanese larch is often mixed with Sitka spruce to improve the visual appearance and variety within the forest. In certain sites alder may be planted instead of larch to achieve the same effect.


Diverse Conifers (GPC 4)

Species other than Sitka spruce and lodgepole pine are called diverse conifers for grant payment purposes. Some of their characteristics are described below.

Douglas Fir

  • Enjoys well drained soils of moderate fertility

  • Grows vigorously on good soils

  • Generally limited to elevations below 200 m, and best grown in the east and south of the country.
  • Susceptible to serious deer damage

  • A good strong timber and suitable for joinery
  • Timber usually matures from 45 to 60 years

Norway Spruce

  • Grows well on moist grassy sites

  • More tolerant of frost than other species

  • First thinning about 20 years of age

  • Timber is used in joinery and flooring
  • Timber usually matures from 50 years

Scots pine 


  • Suited to a wide range of sites

  • Thrives on light sandy soils

  • Looks well in the landscape

  • High quality timber, suitable for joinery, known in the trade as “Red deal”

  • Timber usually matures from 65 years

Hybrid larch


  • Grows well on moist well-drained soils

  • Deciduous conifer, providing good autumn colour

  • Grows fast in the early years, first thinning about 16 years of age

  • Timber usually matures from 45 years

  • Excellent timber

Other species of Larch are also grown in Ireland. Japanese larch is planted in mixture with Sitka spruce while European larch is planted in mixture with oak and beech. 
Other conifers, which have grown successfully on certain sites, include Western red cedar and Hemlock.


Broadleaves Species (GPC 5)

A number of species such as oak, beech, ash, sycamore, cherry and sweet chestnut have been planted successfully in Ireland. Higher premiums are available for planting oak and beech as indicated. Some of these species are described below.

Ash 


  • Needs good fertile well-drained moist soil 

  • Avoid frosty hollows

  • Sensitive to exposure

  • Excellent timber for furniture and sports goods

  • First thinning is generally when trees are between 10 to 13 meters in height.

  • Plantation matures from 50 to 70 years

Sycamore


  • Grows best on fertile sites

  • Tolerates exposure better than ash

  • Timber used in the furniture trade

  • First thinning at around 30 to 35 years of age or when trees are 12 to 14 meters in height

  • Plantation matures from 60 to 80 years

Oak (GPC 6)

  • Best growth achieved on well drained fertile soils

  • Sessile oak will tolerate less fertile soils than Pedunculate oak

  • Avoid thin shallow sandy soils, which can lead to timber defects i.e. “shake”

  • Can be grown pure or mixed with Scots pine or European larch. The conifer can help the oak to grow better and straighter

  • First thinning from 30 to 35 years of age or when trees are 13 to 15 meters in height

  • Plantation matures from 120 to160 years

  • Good environmental benefits

  • Timber used in the furniture and joinery trade

Beech (GPC 7)

  • Avoid exposed and windy sites

  • Can be grown in mixture with European larch or Scots Pine
  • First thinning at around 35 years of age or when crop is around 12 to 15 meters in height
  • Plantations mature from 100 to 120 years

  • Good timber used in the furniture and veneer trade

Forest Service Approved Species

Conifers Broadleaves
  • Sitka spruce
  • Lodgepole pine
  • Norway spruce
  • Douglas fir
  • Lawson cypress
  • Leyland cypress
  • Monterey cypress
  • European larch
  • Hybrid larch
  • Japanese larch
  • Austrian pine
  • Corsican pine
  • Monterey pine
  • Scots pine
  • Coast redwoods
  • Serbian spruce
  • Western hemlock
  • Western red cedar
  • Ash
  • Sycamore
  • Pendunculate oak
  • Sessile oak
  • Beech
  • Alder
  • Cherry
  • Lime
  • Southern beech
  • Spanish chestnut

 

Taxation

Woodland taxation in the Republic of Ireland

Income from the occupation of woodlands in the State, managed on commercial basis and with a view to the realisation of profits, is exempt from Income Taxes for individuals and companies regardless of their residence or domicile.

The High Earners Income Tax restriction which limited the exemption to €80,000 per annum is abolished from 1/1/2016.

Woodland Grants are not treated as income but in the preparation of Annual Accounts by an owner the cost of planting and maintenance should be shown as net of grants received.

PRSI: Income from commercial woodland, including the forest premium, is reckoned for the purposes of PRSI.

Universal Social Charge: Income from commercial woodlands, including the forest premium, is reckoned for the purposes of USC.

Rates of Charge:
1% on income up to €12,012
3% on income from €12,013 to €18,668
5.5% on income from €18,669 to €70,044
8% on income from €70,044 to €100,000
11% over €100,000 on Self-employment income only

CGT: Commercial woodlands occupied by individuals are exempt from CGT on the growing timber. The underlying land is not exempt but chargeable gains are restricted to the surplus over inflation adjusted cost. CGT is not applicable to a disposal on death. The exemption does not apply to companies which occupy woodlands. The current rate of CGT is 33%.

VAT: Commercial forestry operation is regarded as agricultural production and exempt from VAT but the exemption may be waived. It may be efficient to waive exemption and this recover VAT on all the inputs of goods and services supplied to the woodland occupier.

Repayments of VAT are made promptly even though the woodland may not produce any taxable supplies for many years. Once registered for VAT, any supply by the woodland, including disposal, will attract a charge to VAT.

An unregistered woodland owner can add flat rate VAT of 5.2% to an invoice to compensate for VAT inputs that were incurred but cannot be recovered. The invoice must make it clear that the owner is not registered and that it is merely the flat rate refund.

Stamp Duty:
Non-residential property: 2%
Residential up to €1m: 1%
Over €1m: 2%

Transfers of property between spouses and within group related companies are exempt.

Growing timber in commercial woodlands is exempt from Stamp Duty but the underlying land is not.

Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT) i.e. (Inheritance and Gift): Commercial woodlands in the State are subject to CAT on gifts to, or inheritance by, individuals regardless of the residence or domicile of the disponer and beneficiary. In addition to specific exempt thresholds, relief is available to commercial woodlands as agricultural property.

The relief, as a reduction in market value is as follows:

  • A flat rate reduction of 90% applies to both inter-vivo gifts and inheritance of commercial woodlands.
  • All gifts and inheritance between husband and wife are exempt from CAT.
  • The woodlands can be located in any member State of the European Union and still attract Agricultural Relief.

Agricultural relief is restricted and is subject to the ‘80% agricultural property’ test and ‘active farmer’ requirements. The recipient of the woodlands must retain them for 6 years but can sell and purchase replacement woodlands in the 6 year period without losing the 90% Relief. Sale of Timber in the 6 year period does not affect the Relief.

Where a beneficiary of a Gift or Inheritance cannot qualify for Agricultural Relief because less than 80% of their assets are in Agricultural property, they must be in a position to claim Business Relief. Like Agricultural Relief, it allows a 90% discount from market value to arrive at the taxable value of a Gift or Inheritance. However there are some differences in the conditions to qualify for Business Relief compared to those for Agricultural Relief and advice should be sought.

Relevant Contract Tax: This is not a tax on forestry but is a procedure to ensure tax compliance by forestry contractors. It can apply where a forest owner engages a contractor to harvest timber. If in doubt Revenue should be contracted and set procedures followed. Revenue will then instruct on any relevant deductions.

The above information is based on the Law at 28/10/2015 and is a general summary only. All readers are advised to take independent advice on any tax or associated issues relating to their forestry.

Contact us for advice on taxation and forestry.

ESB Compensation Applications

Applications for compensation from the ESB for loss of premium can be made for areas suitable for afforestation but left unplanted as a result of the presence of an ESB line. This is also the case where plantations have to be removed for the installation of ESB lines.

The compensation payable is based on the value of the land and the IFA ESB agreement for the loss of tree planting rights allows for payment to the landowner an amount equivalent to 75% of the value of the affected area. This is payable on foot of an easement in favour of the ESB.

In addition to this, premium based compensation is also payable by the ESB to the landowner. Methods of calculation are based on a standard annuity table, taking into account Premium rate, number of years and Interest rate.

Forestry Services Ltd completes such ESB compensation application for clients. If you require assistance in such applications please contact us.

Arbitration & Oral Hearing Service

Forestry Services Ltd provides expert advice on disputes in relation to forestry. The most common occurrence is in relation to:

  • Compulsory purchase orders
  • Insurance claims
  • Collateral
  • Marital disputes

Linkages with expertise in Cillin Farm Advisory Group is important in this area particularly in relation to Compulsory Purchase Orders.

Individual Tree Felling

Landowners planning to fell trees must secure a felling licence from the Forest Service. This is particularly relevant to farmers in order to avoid penalties under cross compliance inspections relating to the Single Farm payment.

We can apply for such licences for individuals and companies.

Forestry Services Links

 

Contact Forestry Services »

 

Forestry Services Ltd have provided Gaelectric Developments Ltd with their professional services such as obtaining felling licences, forestry valuations, forestry advice and felling of forestry on time and in budget for a number of our wind farm site

Karen McDermott Planning Manager, Gaelectric Developments Ltd, On-Shore Ireland
Wind Farms