Growers association presents Downing Street Christmas tree

The British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA) has presented Downing Street with a Christmas tree.

Each year, the BCTGA hosts a competition to find the country’s champion Christmas tree grower.

This year’s winner, Mike Craig of Garrocher Tree Farm in Newton Stewart, Dumfries and Galloway,  delivered the tree to stand outside 10 Downing Street.

Runners up Richard and Gail Underwood of Oakberry Trees, Lutterworth, provided the centrepiece for the Pillared Room inside the Prime Minister’s home.

In addition, the winners of the Champion Wreath accolade, sisters-in-law Marie and Ragni Gilbert of Woods Farm, Solihull, had their decorated wreath placed on number 10's door.

Commenting on the Christmas tree market this year Craig said thanks to the larger number of smaller trees avalalbe, prices were starting to flatten and decrease slightly.  "The pendulum has swung a little too far from the retailer to the grower."

He said it was a "frustration" that retailers wanted to put the same margin on all trees, no matter what the size.

Woods Farm owner Geoff Gilbert said he was retailing trees direct to the public for £40 for a six foot Nordman from his Birmingham outlet. He claims to supply "half" of all Birmingham's trees.

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