UK growers prepared to fill the gap

As Danish growers move away from Christmas trees Britons increase their stock

The UK will not face a shortage of Christmas trees this year despite many Danish growers turning to other crops to gain Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funding. The British Christmas Tree Growers’ Association (BCTGA) has announced that this year’s crop of UK-grown Christmas trees will be of its usual high quality, and that increased numbers will help to offset Danish supply problems. Historically, Danish farmers were encouraged by their government to grow trees for sale predominantly for the German market but also for the UK. Over the past few years, however, they have suffered low prices from the German market, so many stopped planting new trees. Under the new CAP, Danish Christmas-tree growers will not receive any funding as their crop is termed as horticultural. They now have until the end of the year to clear land to make it eligible for agricultural funding. BCTGA secretary Roger Hay said: “Last year Danish growers sold 12 million trees. It’s anticipated that by next year this will drop to eight or nine million. Danish trees on sale this year could be of poor quality as they are just getting cut down for land clearance. The message is ‘buyers beware’ — quality of Danish trees could be variable. “But if prices increase again on the German market then some Danes will opt to go back to growing Christmas trees.” L Interior and exterior landscape firm PHS Greenleaf, of Caerphilly, has raised over £5,500 for children’s charity When You Wish Upon a Star by donating £5 from every Christmas tree it hired out last year. New to its range this year is the Toy Tree, which is decorated in toys. Customers can raise their own money by raffling the decorations.

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