Christmas Guide


Hebrides News

With Christmas fast approaching, here is some advice on Christmas tree care.


What are the different types of Christmas trees ?

The most popular varieties in the UK are:

• Nordmann Fir - dark green foliage and soft leaves, with good needle retention

• Norway Spruce – often regarded as the traditional tree, it is usually a tidy pyramid shape with a typical Christmas tree smell.

• Blue Spruce - elegant with natural blue foliage.

• Fraser Fir - leaner in shape with much denser foliage and a lovely balsam fragrance.

Some growers will have other varieties available which can also look great in your home.


Which is the most popular variety?

Most popular by far is the Nordmann Fir which is chosen about 80% of the time. Between 10-15% of trees are of Norway Spruce while the rest are lesser known varieties.


How many trees are sold each year?

The British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA) estimates around seven million trees are bought each year.


Will prices be the same as last year?

The BCTGA expect 2017 prices to be very similar to last season.

Prices do vary across the country and the top-quality trees that customers tend to prefer are more expensive than poorer quality second grade trees.


How old is a typical full height tree for the home

A typical 6 to 7 feet high Christmas tree is between 10 and 12 years old. Seed is collected from trees either in the wild or in specially selected seed orchards, sown in a nursery where the seedlings then grow for three to four years. The young plants are then planted by a grower and grown on for a further seven to nine years.

The grower has to fertilise, shape and prune the tree, and keep it healthy, ready for the customer to enjoy.


Choosing a fresh tree

A fresh tree will have a healthy green appearance with few browning needles. Needles should be flexible and not fall off if you run a branch through your hand. Raise the tree a few inches off the ground and drop it on the butt end. Very few green needles should drop off the tree but it is normal for a few inner brown needles to drop off.


Keep your tree at its best

When the tree is brought home, it is advantageous if about half an inch is cut off the butt in order to open up the pores of the tree. The tree should be kept outside in a cool shaded place, standing in water, until it is required indoors. When the tree is brought indoors, mount it in a water-holding stand and place it away from direct heat, such as a radiator. Keep the container topped up with water every day; you will be surprised how much the tree drinks.



Choosing a real Christmas tree