'Love Our Trees'
Many of our streets and estates are named with a connection to trees but few would recognise an ash from an oak or a beech from a birch? During the Covid Lockdown we've all walked past dozens of species without knowing their name, their role for wildlife, or their part in maintaining the health of our environment.
That said we certainly notice when they're taken away.
When they're gone, they're Gone!
Our Trees are at Risk
In recent times tree felling locally has made way for considerable development. Metges Road, within Johnstown, has been hit hard losing a large portion of its tree lined avenue to make way for the Cois Glaisin Estate, followed by several mature trees being cut down to create the pedestrian crossing opposite it, the cycle path cleared more to expose The Boyne Estate but it's not over yet. The natural woodland next to Bailis Village is still under threat of near-complete removal to make space for apartment blocks.
Can we record what we have?
Mapping trees gauges one level of biodiversity within our suburban neighbourhood. It's a chance to discover what we have and its importance. No one really knows what trees we've recently lost, or the wildlife they supported, therefore a recording will help fight the loss of any more.
Tree Mapping is already well established in Dublin and with the use of smartphones and involving the public it's become quicker and easier. We'd like to see Meath County Council take up the gauntlet and promote the mapping of trees by the Public. In the meantime Johnstown Tidy Towns has taken on the project.
You Can Help.
When you're out walking use the smartphone App (details below) to mark the location of a few trees along the route. The app tags it on a global map and you can upload a photo, enter details such as its species, trunk size, height and state of health. This builds the knowledge base and we can discover both what we have and equally important what's missing from our area.
Here's a brief clip from an enthusiast explaining how to use the App or view the official explainer clip 'Mapping Trees on Curio".
You could even start mapping without leaving the house and add the photo's and details later.
We don't know what we have, or how many, but we need your help to find out.
Where to Map.
Start anytime and anywhere that you find trees, There could easily be a thousand trees within the Johnstown neighbourhood and tens of thousands within the Navan Municipal District.
Johnstown People's Park
Athlumney Riverside Trail
Things to Record.
Its location on the global map.
A photo is optional but it adds a visual recording.
Add what Species it is and we list 2 Apps below to help you. It can be added or changed at a later date.
If you know you can include the planting date, estate completion date.
Measure (or estimate) the trunk width and tree height to enable future calculations to determine how the trees absorb pollution and rainwater or provide habitats and food.
Note any particular features such as whether it needs low branch trimming or needs shaping etc.
More Benefits to the Community
By adding name plaques to some prominent trees we could help educate ourselves and provide a simple nature trail.
Johnstown Tidy Towns carried out a brief tree pruning session at the end of 2018 to remove low branches posing a hazard to pedestrians. By having a map it will assist them in future pruning activities.
Trees need protection from developers and a current record will ensure our tree biodiversity gains recognition and protection.
Some trees are pollinator-friendly and some will be prefered nesting sites for wild birds.
Give it a Try
NOTE: We have no connection with any Apps & Websites mentioned.
For more information about trees visit the Tree Council of Ireland.
There's many apps on Google Play and Apple Store but once you've got a benchmark you can quickly estimate width and height.
Trees we're expecting to find
Some will be much easier to spot in the different seasons, links take you to Wikipedia.
Help us to establish a local benchmark to ensure any plans for our neighbourhoods protects our trees.
Sustainable Development Goals
This project has connections with the following categories: