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May 6, 2016

Crainn na hÉireann s01.

TG4 Ireland 5 Apr 2016 - Irish with embedded English subtitles

Crainn na hÉireann (The Trees of Ireland) is a ten part series about Irish trees and forests, presented by tree-lover Manchán Magan. It's a journey through the woods of Ireland to see some of our most spectacular trees - from the ancient yews of Florencecourt and Muckross to Ireland's tallest tree, the mighty Douglas fir of Powerscourt in Wicklow. Shot using the latest drone and stabilised camera technology, Crainn na hÉireann is a feast for the senses, the televisual equivalent of a walk in the woods. In this programme we tell the story of the Scots pine and how it died out in this country, only to make a triumphant comeback.


Manchán Magan is in Glenveagh, County Donegal, to find out more about the birch tree. While there, he also discovers elm trees and finds the elm is disease-free in this region.

Manchán Magan views the native Irish oak, including a forest in Killarney unlikely to have changed in thousands of years. Plus, a rare native Irish tree called the Strawberry Tree.

Manchán Magan tells the story of the yew, which is associated with eternity, the other world and often found in graveyards around the country. He visits the only yew wood in Ireland at Kilarney and reveals the story behind a tree in County Fermanagh.

Manchán Magan looks at the pedunculate oak, which is often seen on the lowlands. The programme reveals the importance of the oak in the making of ink long ago, and features a 15-metre canoe that illustrates how tall these trees used to grow.

Manchán Magan looks at two of our native trees that bear fruit, the crab apple and the hazel, and some of the traditions associated with Autumn, mainly Halloween.

Manchán Magan profiles native trees: the ash and the hawthorn. He will look at the rich red fruit called haws that grow on the hawthorn, which blooms into white flowers in the start of the summer. There's also a look at the steps being taken to combat ash dieback disease.

Manchán Magan examines the history of Ireland's forests, from prehistoric times to modern commercial developments. The programme examines how methods of tree-felling have developed, and a scheme that was introduced in 1900 to import foreign trees suited to Ireland's climate.

Manchán Magan takes a look at our naturalised trees which came here with the movement of people into our country and are not native as such to Ireland: trees like the Horse Chestnut, the sycamore, the beech and the London plane. We have places like Kilmacurragh, County Wicklow, in which exotic trees were trialled in the 19th century; trees from Asia and America, and time and time again the Irish soil and weather lend themselves superbly to them flourishing.

Manchán Magan visits Powerscourt, County Wicklow, which is home to some of the most exotic trees in the world - amongst them the tallest tree in Ireland, the Douglas Fir. He meets with Michael Byrne, the chief gardener, who shows him around. We see the Sequoia from the US, the Lebanese Cedar and a garden designed by the Wingfield family in 1908.

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