Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett has encouraged the purchase of a real Irish Christmas tree this season. This supports local producers who have spent 7 to 10 years of dedicated work to produce a good quality Christmas tree.
Irish growers produce around 650,000 Christmas trees each year with 450,000 sold at home and about 200,000 exported abroad, mainly to the UK, France and Germany. The industry contributes €25 million to the Irish economy.
She stated “Whether it is buying a Christmas tree from your local retailer or going to a farm to pick out your Christmas tree, it is an experience that marks the beginning of the season for some many families. I encourage you to support your local, sustainable growers in rural Ireland this year by choosing a real Irish Christmas tree. It is more environmentally friendly, has a lower carbon footprint than an artificial tree and enhances the Christmas experience.”
There are different types of Irish grown Christmas trees. The Nordmann Fir (Abies nordmanniana) is currently the most popular species. It has glossy, rich green foliage and soft non-shed needles. If you’d like a bluer foliage the Noble Fir (Abies procera /Abies nobilis) is also popular non-shed needle choice tree. The traditional Christmas Tree is the Norway Spruce (Picea abies). Make sure to place cut Christmas trees in a water stand in order to reduce needle loss.
The quality improvement has also been facilitated by the Department’s Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector. A 50% budget increase to €9 million was secured for 2021 and this has been maintained for 2022, reflecting the importance of the sector.
“I encourage Christmas tree growers to consider applying for the 2022 Scheme,” concluded Minister Hackett.
Details of the scheme and application forms are available at: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/b16bf-horticulture-schemes/