Rathcoole Woodlands has 36,595.5 m²/ 3.67 ha of Immature Woodland classified as WS2 Immature Woodland with 73,190 trees whipsi.e. trees up to 4 m tall with the potential to result in a conservative 9,661 mature trees in five to 10 years1. The trees are predominantly willow (Salix spp.) and downy birch (Betula pubescens).
According to Fossitt’s classification1, WS is scrub or transitional woodland and category 2 are areas dominated by young trees or immature woodland. Immature woodland includes areas that are dominated by young or sapling trees that have not yet reached the threshold heights (5 m, or 4 m in the case of wetland areas). Fossitt defines woodland as an area of trees, in this case of at least 4 m height because it is wet. The canopy can be open but must be distinct. Fossitt (2000) notes that birch, hazel and willow can be trees and shrubs of this woodland type. The immature woodland of Rathcoole Woodlands is approximately 50% of the total area and is quite varied in character.
The understorey layer, field layer and ground layer of the Woodland have not been surveyed. These layers typically consist of smaller trees, such as Hawthorn, flowers, such as Herb Robert and lichens, mosses and mushrooms.