Tuesday, 21 November, 2017 at 8pm

The master of Tullynally Castle, Castlepollard will base this lecture on his book “The Company of Trees. A Year in a Lifetime’s Quest” which was published in 2015. The book takes the form of a diary of one year, 2013. It concentrates on the trees he met on his travels, and which he then brought back to sow as seeds in his estate in Westmeath. It chronicles a year in his life of planning, hunting and planting trees in order to establish a large arboretum in his family estate. It describes his travels while plant-hunting to remote places like Tibet and Sikkim and Patagonia. The main themes are as follows: hunting, collecting and documenting exotic trees, planting them in Westmeath, and planning and managing an arboretum there. These will be the themes of the lecture; the lecture will also discuss the current threat to our trees from a frightening invasion of new diseases like ash dieback, horse chestnut canker and sudden oak death.

Thomas Pakenham of Tullynally Castle, Castlepollard, as well as being a prolific author on trees, is also a distinguished historian. His best-known historical work is perhaps “The Year of Liberty: The History of the Great Irish Rebellion of 1798”. This lecture is based on his fifth volume on the topic of trees. He has spent the last 50 years planting trees by the thousand on his family estate in Tullynally. He is chairman of the Irish Tree Society.