The Consultant - 2018 - 48

TRAVEL

The History of

Forestry

The following has been excerpted
from Glimpses of Irish Forestry, by
John McLoughlin and Donal Magner and
reprinted with the permission of the Society
of Irish Foresters.

IN THE BEGINNING
The story of Irish forests begins at the end
of the last Ice Age some 13,000 years ago.
The landscape changed from tundra to
forest as the climate improved and temperatures increased.
Pioneer forest
Trees such as juniper, willow, hazel and
birch were among the first to colonise
the landscapes. Around 8000 BC juniper and willow made way for oak, Scots
pine, yew and elm. While birch and hazel
were also present they were no longer
the dominant species. Birch had fulfilled
its role as a pioneer species while hazel
would continue as an understorey tree in
native woodlands alongside species such
as holly and rowan.
Succession forest
During the period from 8000 to 5000 BC
forests changed in appearance to succession-phase woodland which included
pioneer species and climax species
such as oak.
Climax forest
During the period 5000-3000 BC climaxphase woodlands dominated the landscape. Climax forests contain species that
exist in the final stage of plant succession.
In Ireland these are dominated by species
48

capable of producing large timber yields
such as Scots pine, oak and elm.
Forest decline - natural and
climatic influences
Between 5000 and 3000 BC, the climax forest of oak, Scots pine, elm,
alder and probably ash dominated the
landscape. Of these species all but two
would disappear over time only to be
reintroduced much later.
Elm suffered an abrupt decline around
3100 BC probably due to a disease similar to Dutch elm disease which wiped
out the elm in recent times. While elm
died out within 100 years, the decline of
Scots pine took place over a much longer
period. The decline of Scots pine is associated with climatic changes which led to
the spread of bogs, in particular blanket
bogs, around 2000 BC. By early Christian
times, the species had almost completely
disappeared.
As the climate became wetter and
cooler, bog development slowly swamped
many of the primeval forests. The remnants of these woodlands are often seen
in cutaway bogs in the form of preserved
stumps and wood. They provide clues
about the decline of Irish forests and also
the stature of the trees that once existed
in Ireland.
The primeval woodlands were more
impressive than today's forests. An
oak dugout canoe in the National
Museum - found near Tuam, Co. Galway
in 1901 - illustrates the enormous bulk
of individual oak trees. Measuring
15.20 metres long and 1.12 metres wide,

the log boat dates from 2500 BC. It is likely
that a boat of this size would have been
fashioned from a tree with a total height
of around 50 metres. There are only two
oak trees now growing in Ireland that
have reached a height of 37 metres.
Forest decline - human influence
The first three groups of early settlers
that arrived in Ireland undoubtedly saw
the value of these extensive forests for
buildings and fuelwood, and also the
value of the land for growing crops and
carrying stock.
* The first settlers that arrived from
Scotland around 7500 BC during the
Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age period
were mainly hunters and fishermen and
made little impact on the landscape.
* The Neolithic Stone Age settlers made
a greater impact around 3000 BC.
* Large scale clearance didn't begin until
around 600 BC with the arrival of the
Iron Age settlers.
The oak forests fluctuated widely and
while there seems to be an abundance of
oak during the 6th to the 8th centuries,
it declined in the 9th century. While oak
may have emerged again in the 12th century, it was scarce during the 14th and late
17th centuries.

FURTHER DECLINE OF FORESTS
DURING THE 17TH CENTURY
There is conflicting information on the
actual forest cover in Ireland during the
17th century. By 1600, forest cover had
reduced to 12% but it may have been
as low as 3%.
THE CONSULTANT

2018



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Consultant - 2018

From the Executive Director End Notes
From the President ACF: Forestry, Fellowship and Value
Sharing the Stories of the Trees: ACF Distinguished Forester Jim Able
Maple Syrup: A Steigerwaldt Family Tradition
The South Carolina Chapter and Forestry Students
The Association of Consulting Foresters Celebrates 70 Years
Carbon Offsets: A Viable Opportunity for Forest Landowners?
Changes of Biblical Proportions
Forests for Fish In Michigan, Foresters and Anglers are Learning from Each Other
Case Study: Richland Township Woods, North Central Indiana
Invasive Species 101
Evaluating Forest Inventory Technology for Small Landowners
Choosing the Right Accountant or Tax Preparer
The History of Forestry in Ireland
The American Oak Project Midleton Distillery Creates Rare Irish Whiskey to Promote Sustainable Forestry
Products & Services Marketplace
Index of Advertisers
Why not Surround Yourself with the Best?
The Consultant - 2018 - Intro
The Consultant - 2018 - cover1
The Consultant - 2018 - cover2
The Consultant - 2018 - 3
The Consultant - 2018 - 4
The Consultant - 2018 - 5
The Consultant - 2018 - From the Executive Director End Notes
The Consultant - 2018 - From the President ACF: Forestry, Fellowship and Value
The Consultant - 2018 - Sharing the Stories of the Trees: ACF Distinguished Forester Jim Able
The Consultant - 2018 - 9
The Consultant - 2018 - 10
The Consultant - 2018 - 11
The Consultant - 2018 - Maple Syrup: A Steigerwaldt Family Tradition
The Consultant - 2018 - 13
The Consultant - 2018 - 14
The Consultant - 2018 - 15
The Consultant - 2018 - The South Carolina Chapter and Forestry Students
The Consultant - 2018 - 17
The Consultant - 2018 - 18
The Consultant - 2018 - 19
The Consultant - 2018 - The Association of Consulting Foresters Celebrates 70 Years
The Consultant - 2018 - 21
The Consultant - 2018 - Carbon Offsets: A Viable Opportunity for Forest Landowners?
The Consultant - 2018 - 23
The Consultant - 2018 - 24
The Consultant - 2018 - 25
The Consultant - 2018 - 26
The Consultant - 2018 - 27
The Consultant - 2018 - Changes of Biblical Proportions
The Consultant - 2018 - 29
The Consultant - 2018 - 30
The Consultant - 2018 - 31
The Consultant - 2018 - 32
The Consultant - 2018 - 33
The Consultant - 2018 - Forests for Fish In Michigan, Foresters and Anglers are Learning from Each Other
The Consultant - 2018 - 35
The Consultant - 2018 - 36
The Consultant - 2018 - 37
The Consultant - 2018 - Case Study: Richland Township Woods, North Central Indiana
The Consultant - 2018 - 39
The Consultant - 2018 - Invasive Species 101
The Consultant - 2018 - 41
The Consultant - 2018 - 42
The Consultant - 2018 - 43
The Consultant - 2018 - Evaluating Forest Inventory Technology for Small Landowners
The Consultant - 2018 - 45
The Consultant - 2018 - 46
The Consultant - 2018 - Choosing the Right Accountant or Tax Preparer
The Consultant - 2018 - The History of Forestry in Ireland
The Consultant - 2018 - 49
The Consultant - 2018 - 50
The Consultant - 2018 - 51
The Consultant - 2018 - The American Oak Project Midleton Distillery Creates Rare Irish Whiskey to Promote Sustainable Forestry
The Consultant - 2018 - 53
The Consultant - 2018 - 54
The Consultant - 2018 - 55
The Consultant - 2018 - Products & Services Marketplace
The Consultant - 2018 - 57
The Consultant - 2018 - 58
The Consultant - 2018 - 59
The Consultant - 2018 - Index of Advertisers
The Consultant - 2018 - 61
The Consultant - 2018 - Why not Surround Yourself with the Best?
The Consultant - 2018 - cover3
The Consultant - 2018 - cover4
The Consultant - 2018 - outsert1
The Consultant - 2018 - outsert2
The Consultant - 2018 - outsert3
The Consultant - 2018 - outsert4
The Consultant - 2018 - outsert5
The Consultant - 2018 - outsert6
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