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Green Party Minister encourages people to buy a real Christmas tree

Irish growers produce around 650,000 Christmas trees each year.

Image: Shutterstock/David Tonelson

MINISTER OF STATE at the Department of Agriculture Pippa Hackett has encouraged the purchase of real Christmas trees this year to support the Irish sector. 

With Ireland moving from Level Five to a modified Level Three, real trees will be available through the regular retail channels, including garden centres and Christmas tree farms from tomorrow, 1 December. 

“The scent of a real Christmas tree heralds the start of Christmas for me and it is particularly important this Christmas that they are available through all the usual outlets,” said Hackett. 

“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 it is the natural choice.”

It can take up to ten years before an Irish-grown Christmas tree is in peak condition and ready for harvesting, which Hackett says requires “year-round dedication and significant investment, so our growers deserve our support”.

There are around 100 growers across the country, so chances are someone is selling trees near you. Information about some growers can be found on the Love a Real Tree website

Irish growers produce around 650,000 Christmas trees each year with 450,000 sold in Ireland and about 200,000 exported abroad, mainly to the UK, France and Germany.

The Department estimates that industry contributes around €25 million to the Irish economy every year. 

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Most councils around the country have designated points where you can bring your tree to be broken down and the remains recycled. If you opt for an artificial tree, they are made of plastic, often PVC – making them very difficult to recycle.

Hackett also encouraged growers to apply for the 2021 horticulture development scheme which she credits with quality improvement in the sector. 

Previous investments under the scheme have included specialised tree pruners, tree netters and palletisers which protect the quality and allow for efficient transport. 

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Adam Daly

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