Afforestation Scheme

Forestry planting

  • The Afforestation Scheme provides planting and establishment grants as well as annual premiumpayments for establishing new forests:
  • Afforestation scheme is applicable to Agricultural land only
  • Land must be capable of producing a commercial crop
  • The scheme is open to farmers and non-farmers
  • Minimum area for conifers: 0.25 ha.
  • Minimum area for broadleaves: 0.1 ha.
  • Plots must be greater than 40m
  • 15% of plantation may be set aside as Area of Biodiversity Enhancement (ABE)
  • Minimum 15% broadleaves

Forest and Tree services carry out forestry planting for the private landowner and also source and plant land for the forestry Investor.


Afforestation Grant:
The afforestation grant generally covers the cost of planting and maintaining the plantation for the first four years. This grant amounts to 75% of the overall forestry grant. It is a cost based grant i.e. operation costs are covered up to a maximum level, and depending on species planted it ranges from €2,740 to €6,220 per hectare. The second installment of the remaining 25% or maintenance grant is payable four years later, providing the plantation has been satisfactorily maintained and is free growing.


Forest premium payment:

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Premium Category
Premium Payment Per Hectare Planted
Grant premium class. Rate < 10 hectares Rate > 10 hectares
Unenclosed GPC 1 €185 €190
Sitka Spruce / Lodgepole Pine GPC 2 €440 €450
10% Diverse Conifer / Broadleaf GPC 3 €510 €520
Diverse Conifer GPC 4 €590 €600
(not Oak & Beech)
GPC 5 €605 €620
Oak / Beech GPC 6 / 7 €645 €660
Alder / Birch GPC 8 €605 €620
Native Woodland Establishment GPC 9 / 10 €665 €680
Agroforestry GPC 11 €645 €660
Forestry for Fibre GPC 12 €510 €520

Landowners who carry out forestry planting in the Afforestation or Native woodland Scheme will have their sites planted and managed for a minimum of four years under our contract. The grants are mandated to us whereby we insure that works are carried out to the satisfaction of the forest owner and the Forest Service.

Before the maintenance grant is paid at year four, the forest is subject to inspection by the forest service to ensure it has been adequately managed and meets the required standards of the scheme.

The majority of management costs are in the first four years of establishment and it is essential to invest the money at these stages to ensure successful crop establishment. Forest and tree services will ensure your plantation is regularly inspected and receives the appropriate professional management.

Forestry for Fibre

This scheme was introduced to provide further supply to the biomass market. Species such as Poplar is promoted and is required to be grown for at least 10 years. Landowners receive 15 years of premiums to a maximum of €520 per hectare. The end market for this material is mainly biomass, but also may include wood panel and fuel production. The rotation is significantly less than conventional forestry where conifer forests mature between 35 and 40 years with fibre plantations being managed on a 10 to 15 year rotation.


The following service is provided under our management contract:

  • Inspect your land free of charge
  • Determine whether or not it is suitable for forestry
  • Advise you on the forestry options available and discuss the implications for you
  • Apply for establishment grants and premiums
  • Cover all costs associated with establishment, fencing and maintenance of your plantation for four years