Christmas tree grower of the year delivers mighty fir to PM's house

The Christmas tree grower who won the Champion Christmas Tree Grower 2013 Award has delivered a tree to 10 Downing Street for the festive period.

(left to right) The Tree Barn manager Gary Welford, Andrew Ingram, Jane Ingram and Michael Weizer
(left to right) The Tree Barn manager Gary Welford, Andrew Ingram, Jane Ingram and Michael Weizer

Andrew Ingram of The Tree Barn, Christmas Common in Watlington, Oxfordshire won the honour of delivering the tree after getting the award at the 15th Annual British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA) Competition in October.

The ceremony was originally planned for 6 December but was cancelled at the last minute after the world learned of the death of Nelson Mandela. This week however Ingram, who won the same competition two years ago, his wife Jane, his manager Gary Walford, and one of his employees Michael Weizer delivered the 18.5ft Nordmann Fir and watched the lights being switched on.

They also had a tour of 10 Downing Street.

The BCTGA competition was divided into five categories: pine, fir, spruce, container growth and wreaths. Each finalist could submit two of any one species per category and all trees entered were between 1.4m and 2.2m in height. The judges scored the trees on their foliage, colour, shape and marketability to determine the overall winner.

Ingram said: "We’re delighted to win such a prestigious award once again – it makes all the hard work we put into growing our trees so worthwhile. We were delighted to visit Downing Street and see the tree stand outside one of the UK’s most famous residences."

BCTGA secretary Harry Brightwell said: "Our tree competition is always popular with our members and this year was no different, with more than 100 entries. The standard of the entries this year was extremely high but Andrew presented a fabulous tree that met the judging criteria perfectly. We were thrilled to see him deliver a tree to Downing Street to bring some festive spirit to all those who visit No 10."

The BCTGA was established in 1979 to provide a quality standard for Christmas tree growers in the UK and champions the purchase of real Christmas trees.

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