One hears much negative commentary about exotic plant species, and in some cases the commentary is well deserved.
However I wonder how posters feel about exotic trees in Ireland. Given the limited number of native tree species-in or around 25 I think, perhaps one or two more, or less, what are the reasons not to grow them, and is there any reason why we should not augment our native collection with occasional hedgerow exotics, or even mix some in with forest plantings.
Over the last few weeks, one of the most sought after plants by insects on my property is eucalyptus. The large specimens have been in flower and seem to be providing a good nectar and pollen supply when the wet summer and harvesting of meadows has reduced or removed wildflowers. I notice that calcifuge plants tend to grow in the vicinity of eucalypts, which ties in with the ability of eucalypts to tap sources of calcium in soils that other plants cannot reach, and to return it to the soil in discarded leaves and bark.