Survey: Two-thirds say tree is top Christmas feature

Two-thirds of people say Christmas would not be the same without the tree, placing it as the top most valued festive feature in the Garden Centre Group's Gardening Club Christmas survey.

The survey suggests 21 per cent of people will opt for a real tree this year, with the majority (66 per cent) choosing an artificial one.

Nearly half of households (47 per cent) get their tree three weeks before Christmas, with 43 per cent getting theirs next week.

Only 27 per cent of people said they would ever consider cutting costs on the tree, while 48 per cent of respondents are intend to, or are considering, cutting costs on crackers.

Other areas where respondents will look to make savings include wrapping paper (48 per cent), drinks (43 per cent) and presents (56 per cent).

Nearly one in seven (17 per cent) of people will buy new baubles this year and more than one in ten (13 per cent) have bought new lights.

According to the survey, the perfect tree is tall – ideally around 6ft – with dark, soft, short needles that don’t fall off.

Other findings from the survey include:

- More than a third (39 per cent) of the population will opt for a tree around 6ft tall, with a quarter (23 per cent) choosing a 5ft tree

- 80 per cent of people prefer darker, rather than lighter, coloured pine

- 82 per cent want soft pine needles compared to 18 per cent who prefer prickly ones

- 66 per cent prefer tall, rather than squat, trees

Garden Centre Group purchasing director Steve Pitcher said: "Picking the perfect tree is a very particular moment; customers always have an exact tree in mind and quite rightly get picky over the right size, shape and style. But this is hardly surprising when it is selected as the top item that Christmas would not be the same without."

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