Santa's Christmas Tree airlift to UK towns

If your garden is big enough, you can grow it there and develop a seasonal indoor/outdoor relationship with your own personal tree.

But still many are cut, thrown out (hopefully recycled) and replaced each year. 

We took a look at where they grow the giant Christmas trees that adorn the larger living rooms, schools and hotels and found a site deep in the heart of the Kielder forest in Northumberland.

This is the location of a large number of fir trees that are given time to mature before they live out their public duties.  But the forest is so dense that a special project had to be established to take them out by helicopter.  This year, grower, Elveden Farms, organised the airlifting of 100 trees after identifying that the area was too inaccessible to employ the usual tractors and cranes.  The last time the company used a helicopter was 10 years ago.

The area of the forest from which the trees were harvested was more central than usual which necessitated the use of the helicopter.  Elveden Farms were keen to stress that, though it may seem less environmentally friendly, the job was done in two days, whereas it would have taken two weeks by tractor.

The Sikta Spruce trees weighed almost 2.2 tonnes and were pre-selected and tagged prior to delivery across the UK.  The largest tree measured 55ft tall. 

Apart from these 100 trees, most of the others harvested were taken out by tractor.  They go to sites as diverse as St Paul’s Cathedral in London and also Edinburgh, Glasgow and 1000 other towns.  Elveden Estate work on behalf of the Forestry Commission to manage forests in England and Scotland, taking approximately 10,000 Christmas trees a year.

We’re pleased to report that the trees are recycled, ending up as wood fuel or weed mulch providing natural heat or weed killer – possibly in your home or garden.

As we at Gabriel Ash go to great lengths ourselves to ensure that our Western Red Cedar greenhouse frames are sourced from properly managed forests, it is reassuring to hear that other tree users are considering environmental issues too.

More details of the Christmas trees’ airlift is in an article at: