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The Secret Life of Trees

(Crainn na hÉireann)

10 x 30mins Nature stories in HD

An Abú Media Original Production

Creator - Bríd Seoighe

Director Luke McManus

Presenter - Manchan Magan

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The Secret Life of Trees (Crainn na hEireann), an ambitious 10 part television documentary series presented by writer and broadcaster Manchán Magan

Ireland is one of the best places in the world to grow trees, and this visually rich journey reminds us of how beautiful and precious Ireland’s forests are.


The series initially focuses on our native Irish trees and woodlands but also encompasses the naturalized and exotic trees of Ireland.


The series also explores the many uses of trees, examines their central role in our history and folklore and explains how trees contribute both to the cycle of life and to our everyday existence as human beings


Trees was filmed over four seasons in stunning locations across Ireland, from the desolate Coronation Plantation and exquisite Powerscourt Gardens of County Wicklow to the great tree collections of Tullynally, Co. Westmeath,  Birr Castle, Co. Offaly, Glenveagh National Park , County Donegal and Kilmacurragh in County Wicklow.


Manchán also visited the ancient sessile oaks of Killarney National Park Kerry and Glendalough in Wicklow and the great pendunculate oak forest at Charleville Castle outside Tullamore.


Many landmark trees of Ireland, rich with story and legend, are featured: the King Oak of Charleville, the Florencecourt Irish Yew in Fermanagh, the magnificent yew at the heart of Killarney’s Muckross Abbey, and Ireland’s tallest tree, the Douglas Fir, by the banks of the River Dargle at Powerscourt,  to mention but a few.


In the first episode of the series looks at a recognisable native tree and one of our only three native conifers , the Scots Pine.


We will discover how it was the Scots Pine died out in medieval times, and was reintroduced in the 18th century. Manchán visits the failed Coronation Plantation in Wicklow, the lakeside pines of Glenveigh and Connemara, the miner’s forest in Glendalough and the superb specimen Scots Pine in Birr Castle.


The series features contributions from experts such as  Donal Magnier, author, ‘Stopping by Woods’, Niall Mac Coitir, author ‘Irish Trees , Myths Legends and Folklore’, Aubrey Fennell , author ‘Heritage Trees of Ireland,’ and environmentalist Dick Warner, broadcaster Éanna Ní Lamhna and folklorist Billy Mag Fhloinn.


We also encounter some of the guardians of the great Irish tree collections, like Thomas Pakenham , famed tree-lover and author ‘Meetings with Remarkable Trees ‘and more recently ‘The Company of Trees’,  Brendan Parsons, also known as Lord Rosse, of Birr Castle, Seamus O’Brien of Kilmacurragh and Dónal Ó Cnámhsí of Glenveigh National Park.


Manchán also meet some people whose work has been inspired by trees: people like botanical artist Grania Langrishe, botanical artist and her daughter the tree painter Atty Pollock, and the basket maker Peter Beaumont


The series is an Abú Media Original Production presented by Manchán Magan and written and directed by Luke McManus .



  1. The Scots Pine

  2. The Birch, The Aspen & The Elm

  3. The Sessile Oak, the Arbutus and the Alder

  4. The Yew

  5. The Pendunculate Oak

  6. The Hazel and the Crab-Apple

  7. The Ash and the Hawthorn

  8. The History of Irish Trees and Forestry

  9. The Naturalised and Exotic Trees of Ireland

  10. The Tallest Tree In Ireland

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