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Afforestation Area 2021

Substantial declines in annual afforestation areas

Online ISSN: 2811-5597
CSO statistical publication, , 11am

Key Findings

  • Afforested area declined from 6,947 hectares in 2007 to 2,016 hectares in 2021.

  • Broadleaf species comprised 41% of 2021 afforestation area.

  • Average afforestation parcel in 2021 was 7.1 hectares.

  • Area planted by farmers declined in every year since 2010.

  • Cork accounted for 17% of the total afforested area in 2021.

Statistician's Comment

Commenting on the release, Niamh Shanahan, Statistician in the Environment and Climate Division of the CSO, said: "This is the first time the CSO has published figures on afforestation. The report shows the area afforested in 2021 was 2,016 hectares (ha) which was 29% of the area planted in 2007. The proportion of broadleaf species planted in 2021 was 41% which is the highest share in the 2007-2021 series. The share of afforested area planted by farmers in 2021 was 18% which was a sharp decline from their 2014 share of 97%. Alder and Ash were the main broadleaf species planted during 2007 to 2013 while Alder and Birch were the main species from 2015 to 2021. Sitka Spruce is the dominant conifer species and comprised 86% of coniferous species in 2021.


County Cork had the largest afforested area every year from 2007 to 2016, and from 2019 to 2021. Cork accounted for 17% of the total afforested area in 2021 followed by Roscommon (9.4%), Clare (8.6%), and Cavan (7.9%).

The highest average parcel size was 8.4 ha in 2009. In 2021 it was 7.1 ha."

Afforestation Area
20076.947
20086.249
20096.648
20108.314
20116.653
20126.652
20136.252
20146.156
20156.293
20166.5
20175.536
20184.025
20193.55
20202.434
20212.016
Afforestation AreaConiferBroadleaf
20074.7652.182
20084.0222.227
20094.1752.473
20105.1653.149
20114.2062.447
20124.6072.045
20134.761.492
20144.8081.348
20155.031.263
20165.231.27
20174.3751.161
20182.9561.07
20192.6570.893
20201.6160.819
20211.1870.829
Afforestation Area
Carlow9
Cavan160
Clare174
Cork343
Donegal22
Dublin
Galway144
Kerry121
Kildare42
Kilkenny55
Laois5
Leitrim98
Limerick60
Longford70
Louth
Mayo119
Meath44
Monaghan17
Offaly25
Roscommon190
Sligo92
Tipperary32
Waterford33
Westmeath49
Wexford15
Wicklow98
Show Table: Table 1 Afforestation Area by Species Type 2007-2021

Show Table: Table 2 Afforestation Area by Applicant Type 2007-2021

Show Table: Table 3A Afforestation Area by Broadleaf Species 2007-2021

Show Table: Table 3B Afforestation Area by Conifer Species 2007-2021

Show Table: Table 4 Afforestation Area by County 2007-2021

Show Table: Table 5A Number of Afforestation Parcels by Size Class 2007-2021

Show Table: Table 5B Afforestation Area by Parcel Size Class 2007-2021

Go to: Background Notes