Tipperary nursery owner 'on verge of tears' after Ophelia flattens 10,000 trees

Tipperary nursery owner 'on verge of tears' after Ophelia flattens 10,000 trees

Flattened trees at Annaveigh nursery at New Inn.


A Tipperary nursery owner says she was on the verge of tears after surveying the damage done to the family business by Hurricane Ophelia.

The winds flattened up to ten thousand trees at Annaveigh Plants in New inn.

It is expected that it will take six months to repair.

The 70 acre nursery has 150,000 trees in various stages of growth.  It is 4 year growth cycle.  

Owner Grainne Murphy told RTE - "On our first walk around the nursery after the winds died down, we were on the verge of tears. Many trees were broken in half. We could no longer see the rows between the trees".

She said that for some species, up to 60% of the plants have been lost and most of the worst affected trees are the ones due for sale this season. 

The main wholesale customers are landscapers and the local authority market

In addition, 10,000 - 15,000 of the bamboo canes, which support the trees, have been broken and require replacing manually.

She added - "It was quite a sad sight. I have no idea of the cost but it will require significant skilled labour. It will cost at least hundreds of thousands of euro to sort the whole thing".

She said they will be unable to fulfill many orders, both domestic and international and they have notified many disappointed customers. 

"It's not a breaking point but is a very critical time for our business. We have got through many tough things in the past without assistance such as the ash blight and the big freeze of 2010.  As soon as you are getting back on your feet, you get another blow. It will be a tough next few years."

She added that the hurricane  raises significant concerns over global warming and that in addition to the possibility of more frequent storms, rain patterns have changed, with wetter summers and drier winters.