Agroforestry Design + Planting

Project type: Private farm Agroforestry design and planting

Status: Planted, Spring 2019

Project Brief:

Design and plant an agroforestry system into existing pasture and horticulture farm field.

  • Provide fruit and nuts for harvest
  • To maintain access and practical working spaces for existing horticulture and grazing
  • Provide propogation material for expanding the agroforestry throughout the farm in subsequent years.


A small, simple and lovely project to design and implement the first part of an Agroforestry project here in Co. Roscommon. The site has beautiful red clay soil and thanks to existing woodland planted 15 years previous, it benefits from good shelter along with Southern exposure- all of the elements for a smooth transition to a productive agroforestry!

The existing use of the site is pasture for sheep and some vegetable horticulture plus the woodland managed for fuel and biodiversity.

This farm demonstrates the abundance that can be enjoyed from a small area of land thanks to some foresight and an openness to seeing beyond the accepted visual of the flat green field!

The trusty planting team enjoying the view!

Main systems:


Fruiting Subdivision -minimizing the extra fencing requirements by laying out the new trees to form a new boundary between two areas. Extending and also minimizing the edge!

Fruiting edge – utilising the warm micro-climate provided by the South facing edges of the exisiting woodland. This also allows for simply moving the existing fenceline rather than additional fencing.

Forest garden pattern – Overall, the taller trees are planted to North of the field so as to make best use of the sunlight throughout the planting.

Planting schemes

Fruit and Nut guilds comprised of reliable fruiting species such as Cob nut (Cutivated hazel), Heritage apple varieties, Elderberry and soft fruits, along with some less Ros-common species including Sweet Chestnut, Walnut, and Pear, that will bear fruit into the hundreds of years and additionally some experimental ‘edge’ crops including Holm Oak and Pine Nut that may provide nutritional crops for human and animal in times of abundance, hardship, or a changing climate. Diversity for resilience

These fruiting species are supported by Permaculture superstar plant Eleagnus Umbellata for Nitrogen fixation and bee forage, plus mixed groundcover of nitrogen fixing and nectar rich plants.

Heritage Apple Trees in their new home

This type of design can be adapted, expanded, and ‘wilded’ to benefit any site, so Contact me to help:

  • Lay out agro-forestry systems
  • Diversify farm yields to include tree crops
  • Utilise the benefits of trees and shrub planting on the farm
  • Re-create a more food-secure landscape
  • Invest in an abundant future

Or design your own!

Check out the Earthcare upcoming courses for some additional support.

And here are some resources that you might find helpful:


Mark Shepard Regenerative agroforestry (Video)

Agroforestry farms in the UK

Agroforestry research Trust (UK)

Overview of Agroforestry options and schemes in Ireland

CELT Agroforestry training in Ireland

Whole systems design Ben Falk


Creating a forest garden by Martin Crawford

Earthcare manual by Patrick Whitefield

Designers Manual by Bill Mollisson


Heritage fruit trees, Co. Leitrim

Englishs Fruit Nursery Co. Wexford

Matthew and Amandine @Green Door Market Dublin/McEvoys nursery co.Louth

Future Forests Co. CorkI

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