If you've ever been to Northern California, hopefully you've had a chance to experience the majesty of the redwood forests that populate that part of the state. The largest can growÂ to be 300 feet tall, and the oldest date back some 2,000 years. In other words, they're really big and really old.
Now some folks in Ireland haveÂ decided that they'dÂ like to have redwoods populate their already lush countryside, and they're calling it the Giants Grove. (As it turns out, redwoods were native to Ireland before the Ice Ages began, about 2.4 million years ago.)
As of spring 2017,Â Birr Castle Gardens in County Offaly, in central Ireland, will become the home to the largest grove of redwoodsÂ outside of California.
The effort is lead by the Earl of Rosse, who lives in the castle, and an environmental group called "Trees For Ireland."
âThese will be the biggest trees in Ireland and the largest collection outside of California, fittingly here in Birr in a place which has the biggest treehouse in Ireland," Rosse toldÂ TheIndependant.ie.
Tree-lovers everywhere will have the opportunity toÂ sponsor one of these trees. People in Ireland or abroad can buy space in the grove and may even choose to name their sponsored trees. Irish Central.com says sponsorships starts at $545 and will help to cover planting and establishment costs as well as create a trust fund for the care and maintenance of the forest grove. Sponsors will receive a certificate with the GPS coordinates of their spot within Giants Grove (you'll need this as redwoods do kinda look alike), and they'll get their names inscribed in a "book of honor" at the castle and online.
Visitors can tour the gardens, including the eventual redwood grove, year-round for about $11.25.
And here's a close-up look at what Ireland is (eventually) in for: