Christmas tree sales hot up

Big trees, pop-ups, homegrown and a wider number of varieties are trends in Christmas tree sales this year.

Wyevale Garden Centres said sales of XXXL trees above 10ft are rising 20 per cent year-on-year. Buyer David Mitchell said about seven per cent of customers buy two or more trees. Wyevale expects an 11 per cent increase in sales this year.

Downing Street will unveil this week a 20ft tree from Hereford-based Dinmore Hill Trees.

Eight of out 10 real trees sold are Nordman fir with 10-15 per cent Norway spruce.

Home UK-grown sales are now 80 per cent compared to half seven years ago.

Buckingham Garden Centre's Chris Day said it was stocking one-third blue spruce, one-third Nordman and one-third noble fir to provide a point of difference.

Meanwhile, Pines and Needles forecasts 50 per cent more sales this year. The London-based company, founded by Sam and Josh Lyle in 1994, expects to sell £3.2m worth of trees harvested from their father's farm at Dunkeld, Scotland. The company has 30 pop-up stores in the south east this year and is also supplying wholesale.

Irish minister Andrew Doyle has urged people to buy a real Irish Christmas tree this year as he visited Stephen Cowman at Parkmore Christmas Tree farm in Moneystown, Co. Wicklow.  "At home we always make sure we have a real tree.  It wouldn’t be the same Christmas experience without a real tree and all that goes with bringing it into the house, setting it up, the smell and the atmosphere. 

"I see the Christmas tree farms around the country especially here in Wicklow and the 7 to 10 years work that goes into producing a good quality tree – the work is all year round, planting, shaping, spraying, fertilising, marketing, harvesting."

Around 550,000 Christmas trees are sold in Ireland each year with 350,000 sold at home and about 200,000 trees exported to the UK, France and Germany.  The industry is worth €21 million to the Irish economy.

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