Christmas trees in crisis

The demand for ‘real’ Christmas trees is growing, but there might not be enough to go round this year, and the worst shortage will be of trees higher than 6ft, says the British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA). Growers are reporting that unusually severe late-spring frosts in Europe killed 25% of the harvest-in Sweden alone, 50,000 trees were lost.

Another problem is over-cutting by growers who are cutting early to meet demand, which leads to fewer taller trees. A third issue is a disease called current season needle necrosis (CSNN), which causes needles on fir trees to turn brown and fall off.

The Tree Barn, which supplies No 10, Downing Street, has told Horticulture Week that it expects to lose 10% of its crop each year due to the disease.


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