A Dundalk man is attempting to grow a Giant Redwood at his home on the Alphonsus Road after taking a seedling from massive tree in Ravensdale.
The enormous pine tree is an alien plant to Ireland, and is more commonly found on the West coast of America.
Brendan Connolly found the tree in Ravensdale, one of three, as a teenager.
“I first became aware of the Giant Redwoods in Ravensdale as a teenager,” Brendan told the Democrat. “Our teacher pointed it out to us on a field trip and we identified it as a Giant Sequoa. I tried to get a cutting but it didn’t take”
When Brendan returned to Ravensdale recently he snapped one of the three Redwoods in the park and also took a pine cone.
“I managed to shake some seedling from the cone. I then tried to cultivate them.”
He sent a picture of the magnificent tree to theBotanic Gardens, with a seedling, and they comfirmed that the tree is a Sequoiadendron giganteum, otherwise known as a Giant Redwood.
Peter Maher of the Botanic Gardens said there are a number growing in Ireland and they not considered a threat to the Irish ecology.
They agreed to attempt to grow one at the Gardens. Brendan also started cultivating as many as he could. “I started with three. Two didn’t take but the third is growing now in a insulated room in the attic.”
“They grow far taller in California but that’s due to the climate. It is not thought they will grow that big here. The ones growing in Ireland have been growing here for over 200 years now. “
Brendan has asked the Redemptorist Church would they take it if it grows. “They have a big garden, though they told me to come back in a few years.”
Neighbours need not worry about what height the tree will reach, as it takes as long as 800 years to reach maturity, long after all the people of Dundalk will be dead.