There are well in excess of 2,500 trees throughout UCC campus, existing as individual specimens and as riparian groups along both the Northern and Southern channels of the River Lee. The visual amenity provided by UCC’s tree resource on all approaches to the campus is of immense benefit to Cork city’s residents, visitors, staff and students. The corridor of trees can be followed through parks and walkways east from the campus to the city and docklands and west along the Lee Valley.
Aside from their visual value, UCC’s tree collection, like all trees, has a monetary value in terms of carbon sequestration and storage, and avoided runoff. You can read a full report on the “value” of UCC’s tree collection, compiled using the i-Trees software HERE.
UCC is host to two champion trees listed on the Champion Tree Register of Ireland (held by the Tree Council of Ireland). The first is a Chinese Privet (Ligustrum lucidum) located within the Presidents garden; the second a Wing nut (Pterocarya fraxinifolia) located between the O’Rahilly building and the Boole Library. There are many other wonderful specimens under UCC’s care and their history is now available virtually on a Google earth tour of ‘UCC’s significant trees’, see below.
The campus overview has shown the tree stock to be predominantly mature and in good condition. The analysis provided by the tree management database also shows the excellent age profile structure UCC currently has, where frequent planting over the years has ensured a continual tree cover.
The analysis of individual areas has identified two areas of concern due to an even aged mature structure; the main entrance gate and the Quadrangle. Both areas are of the highest value visually, where magnificent and hugely impressive trees add to the mature setting. These areas will require a strategic planting approach where replacement trees are established and ‘back up’ trees are available from elsewhere on campus.
The key management objectives will remain the same, whereby continual planting occurs, and the long term aims of each planting are considered. . Trees and buildings can exist and compliment one another. This is evident in the award winning construction of the Glucksman gallery in the lower grounds, amongst some of the largest trees on campus. The approach to this project should be adopted for all future projects large and small within close proximity to trees. The result will ensure UCC’s tree resource will continue for decades.
The UCC campus, from its foundation in 1845 has put much consideration into its trees, many of which their value and beauty is realised today some 165 years later. These principals of continual management, vision and botanical value being put on UCC’s tree resource will ensure its grandeur for the next 150 to 200 years.