Timber Treasures: Ireland Imports Over 25,000 Tonnes of Logs from Scotland in 2024

Irish Journalist Headline: "Minister McConalogue Reveals Over 25,000t of Scottish Logs Imported to Ireland in 2024"

Over 25,000 tonnes of logs have been imported into Ireland from Scotland in 2024, as revealed by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, during a recent session in the Dáil. These imports consist mainly of spruce logs with bark, originating from the Scottish Pest-Free Area (PFA). This region is free from the Great Spruce Bark beetle, Dendroctonus micans, which is a significant concern for Ireland. Minister McConalogue emphasized that this particular beetle has not been detected in Ireland, and strict biosecurity measures are in place for the importation of plants and plant products, including coniferous roundwood from the Scottish PFA. The PFA’s pest-free status is maintained by Scottish authorities in line with international standards, allowing trade under the phytosanitary rules of the World Trade Organisation.

In response to a query from Sinn Féin TD for Tipperary, Martin Browne, Minister McConalogue highlighted the prohibition on importing untreated coniferous roundwood with bark from areas known to be infested by quarantine bark beetle species into Ireland. The only exception to this rule internationally is the Scottish PFA. The minister also mentioned that the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has reached an agreement with Scottish authorities to expand the pest-free zone, enabling increased imports to Ireland.

The table below details the tonnage of logs, particularly spruce logs with bark, imported into Ireland from the Scottish PFA from 2020 to April 26, 2024:
Year | Number of imports per year | Tonnage per year
2020 | 73 | 125,850
2021 | 135 | 222,387
2022 | 74 | 112,750
2023 | 69 | 100,025
2024 (to 26-04-24) | 19 | 25,188
(Source: DAFM)

Aside from the log imports from Scotland, the DAFM reported the discovery of the Monterey Pine Engraver beetle, Pseudips mexicanus, in the Cratloe area of Co. Clare in December 2023. Scientific evidence, including DNA analysis, indicates that this beetle is native to North and Central America, specifically originating from Mexico. Minister McConalogue clarified that the Monterey Pine Engraver beetle is not found in Scotland, and the prevalent spruce species traded between Scotland and Ireland is not a known host for this beetle. He stressed that the presence of the Monterey Pine Engraver beetle in Ireland is unrelated to the trade in logs from the Scottish PFA, and investigations are ongoing to determine its distribution and potential introduction pathways.

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons is the founder of Forestry & Carbon. Matt has over 25 years as a forestry consultant and is invoilved in numerous carbon credit offset projects.

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