Welcome to None-So-Hardy

About Us

In None-So-Hardy Nurseries we take the long view

grow quality forests

Outline Of Our Company –

None So Hardy

None So Hardy [Forestry] Ltd is a privately owned Irish company specialising in the growing and supplying of first class forestry plants to the Irish forestry market. Our nurseries are based on 530 acres of land situated at Donishall and Ballymurn in Co. Wexford. Sales, administration and distribution for both nurseries is from the company base in Shillelagh, Co. Wicklow.

Our Background

In 1985 John and Gillian McCarthy purchased a small 12 acre nursery based in Shillelagh, Co. Wicklow. Their intention was to grow around 3 million trees per annum, but soon realised they needed to grow a minimum of 7 to 8 million trees to justify putting in place the necessary infrastructure and training of staff to ensure success. The original None So Hardy Nursery eventually grew to cover 280 acres. The purchase of the 250 acre nursery in Ballymurn, Co. Wexford in December 1995 means the group is now the largest private nursery in the country, with a capacity to produce 25 million trees per annum.


  1. Cold store - In 1994 we erected a cold store at the Shillelagh base which has the capacity to hold 3 million plants. In 2002 this was extended and can now hold 8 million plants. This ensures that the limited planting season can be extended by at least four months.
  2. Irrigation – In 2002 we also established irrigation systems on both of our main sites at Ballymurn and Donishall. Ballymurn in particular is committed to the large scale production of hardwoods, principally Ash, Oak, Beech, Sycamore, Alder, Birch, Mountain Ash, Whitethorn and Hazel. Our aim is to supply excellent quality homestock from native seed for the establishment of native woodlands. The installation of a comprehensive irrigation system has been a crucial element of this aim.
  3. Native Woodland Scheme – The Native Woodland Scheme is of increasing importance to the future of the afforestation programme.  In September 2006 we surveyed, located and marked 100+ potentially good seed producing Oak trees based on crown spread and area. The objective is to have an annual collection of acorns. Read more…
  4. Improved Sitka -  We now supply Improved Sitka Spruce (QCI) seedlings. Improved Sitka spruce trees are grown from seeds that have been selected because of desirable characteristics of their lineage – such as fast growth rates, timber density, straightness, stiffness and low incidence of knots. Read more
  5. Seed Orchards – In None So Hardy we are conscious of trying to secure the best available sources of seed. We have experienced this with our conifer production and our main species Sitka Spruce only comes from improved seed orchards. When the opportunity arose to improve the quality of planting stock available in the future by establishing seed orchards, we decided that we had to make the commitment and develop our own seed orchards. We see our involvement in developing commercial seed orchards for both Common Birch and Sycamore as the next step in what has been a long process for both species and we are carrying on the baton. For the Sycamore seed orchards Scions were taken from mature Plus trees in Ireland (North and South) and from across the UK. The trees for the clonal seed orchard were produced and propagated by Teagasc by grafting the scions onto Sycamore rootstocks. Read More...

Team, Service

And Commitment

Nursery work is labour intensive both in field and office and requires a high level of commitment and expertise to provide our customers with a top class product and service. An important aspect is the completeness of service we offer to clients right through to the delivery of plants to site on the morning of planting. This unique delivery service has been recognised and appreciated by our customers, who acknowledge the part this service plays in the greatly improved quality of their own planting.


We employ more than 80 hardworking and committed people, providing valuable long-term, sustainable employment in rural areas with all the spin-off benefits for local businesses.

In None So Hardy Nurseries we realise and accept that all our projects are on-going commitments and take the long-term view to growing quality forests. We are proud to play our part in creating and developing a forest nursery culture in Ireland.