Christmas tree market to branch out after bumper sales

More than 350,000 trees are expected to be sold throughout the country this Christmas, according to the findings of a recent survey.

Conducted on behalf of the Irish Christmas Tree Growers Association, the survey reveals that almost half of the country’s households will be buying a real tree for the festive period.

A bumper Christmas tree harvest is expected by the association’s growers — who have been busy harvesting their crops at locations countrywide.

Ireland’s climate and free-draining soils are perfectly suited to enable growers to produce some of the finest Christmas trees in Europe.

More than 550,000 trees will be cut, 350,000 for the domestic trade with the balance being exported to other European markets including Britain, Germany and France.

Advising customers to check that their tree has been grown in Ireland, the association said that its members cultivates and nurture their stocks with the utmost care and attention.

“By choosing an Irish-grown tree at your local Christmas Tree Farm, garden centre or retailer this year, you will be supporting Irish and helping the industry which is worth more than €21m to the economy annually,” it said.

Forestry Minister Andrew Doyle has also urged people to buy a real Irish Christmas tree this year. Seven to 10 years work goes into producing a good quality tree. The work is all year round, planting, shaping, spraying, fertilising, marketing and harvesting.

Real trees provide a better Christmas in the home. They are better for the environment, carbon neutral.

Buying an Irish tree helps growers to provide jobs in rural Ireland.

Mr Doyle praised the work of the gardaí in carrying out Operation Hurdle, an initiative specifically aimed at combating the theft of Christmas trees in the approach to Christmas.

Operation Hurdle has been running since 2011 and has dramatically driven down Christmas tree theft in Co Wicklow.

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