Who owns the land once I plant?

Both the land and the trees remain in your ownership. SWS Forestry plant the trees for you and carry out all necesssary fencing and ground preparation works that are required for plantation establishment. SWS Forestry then maintain the plantation for 4 years. You remain the owner of the land and the trees, you also recieve your forestry prmium for 20 years.

Do I need to pay anything?

99% of the time the forestry grants will cover all the cost of works carried out.  This will depend on the site conditions and specific Forest Service requirements.

Are there farmer and non-farmer premium rates?

From 2015 onwards there is one premium payable to landowners regardless of whether the landowner is a farmer or not.

What can I plant on my land?

There are different aspects that will dictate what will be planted on your land. A forester will call and walk your land and discuss your options with you. There is no fee and no obligation to plant.

How much will I receive in premiums?

The trees that are planted will dictate the premiums you receive. The premiums range from €410  to  €635 per hectare, depending on the species planted.

Who Decides what trees are planted?

Your forester will apply to the Department of Agriculture for approval to plant the species of trees he/she thinks will be most suited to the land type. The forester will consult with the land owner on this decision also. The Department of Agriculture may approve the application made or they might request some changes to be made to the application. In this instance your forester will meet with the Department of Agriculture Forest Inspector and discuss the planting approval.

Will I have much paper work to complete?

SWS Forestry will take care of all paper work. The forester along with the head office team complete all the necessary paper work and liaise with the Department of Agriculture regarding the grant applications and relevant paper work.

What if I have an ESB line in my plantation can I plant all of the land?

You can not plant under an ESB line. There are minimum set backs for planting near an ESB line. The setback will depend on the size of the line. You will recieve compensation for the loss of tree planting rights under the ESB line, this is paid as a lump sum. SWS Forestry look after the application for the compenation once the site has been planted.

Can premiums be passed onto family members?

In the event of the death of the person claiming the premium, all premiums due will be released to next of kin, once certain formalities are carried out.  Immediate family members will continue to receive farmer rate of premium if that is the rate being paid.  To transfer premia between living family members is more complex but it can be done.

Do I need a felling licence to cut my trees in the forest?


Do I retain ownership of the land and the trees?


Who regulates the forestry schemes and payments?

The Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture based in Wexford regulate all aspects of Irish Forestry.

How long does it take a conifer crop to mature?

Irish conifer crops mature quicker than anywhere else in Europe which is a huge advantage.  The time involved varies with the type of land planted and species of tree planted.  Typically our main crop is Sitka spruce which can be mature in 30 years.

What work is covered by the grant payments?

Generally all work necessary to establish a forest crop which includes all paperwork, fencing, drainage, ground preparation, supply of plants, planting, supply of fertilizer, fertilising, replacement of failures, vegetation control, shaping in the case of broadleaves etc.  This will depend on the site conditions and specific Forest Service requirements.

What is the procedure for getting a grant and premium for planting?

  • First get a forester to assess the land and fill out a Form 1
  • Complete your planting operation
  • Your forester and yourself fill out a Form 2 to apply for the grant and premium
  • After a Forest Service inspection the grant would be paid to the company and the premium to the client.

Are timber sales tax free?


Am I charged for a site visit?

Assessments for planting are free.