The cash tills rang for Christmas tree growers this festive season as sales surpassed €22m.
The money haul exceeded all expectations due in large part to people turning away from the fake variety and following new trends.
Christy Kavanagh of the Irish Christmas Tree Growers (ICTG) highlighted that the public are “becoming so much more environment conscious and aware of the effects of climate change.
The move away from fake or plastic trees has really taken hold with the public now even buying not only one large one but two or more smaller real trees to place in kitchens or bedrooms.
“Sales have exceeded our expectations this year and has been our best year ever. Sales of more than €22 million have been reached with the final amount still being calculated.
“There is so much more enthusiasm out there now for real trees and the various types available. Next year we are planning to introduce coloured real trees, with colours such as snow white, blue, pink, lilac and psychedelic.
“It’s a trend that has really caught on in the US so we are going to trial them next year. They will obviously be a little more expensive that the regular real tree but we are expecting a demand for them.”
Mr Kavanagh also revealed that for the second year, Operation Hurdle, launched by Gardai and the Growers thefts by criminal gangs have been felled completely.
Up until 2017, criminal gangs had successfully plundered numerous farms across the country, snatching more than 2,000 festive trees annually and costing growers up to €100,000.