Real Christmas trees widely available in Laois
People should buy real Christmas trees in Laois to help Irish growers and the environment, according to Laois Offaly based Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett.
The Green Party minister that under the new Covid retail guidelines, that Christmas trees will be available to buy through the regular retail channels, including garden centres and Christmas tree farms, from December 1 when Level 5 restrictions are eased.
“It takes seven to 10 years of dedicated work by Irish growers to produce a good quality Christmas tree. Over the years, the expertise of these growers has delivered increasingly high-quality Irish Christmas trees. This requires year-round dedication and significant investment, so our growers deserve our support," she said.
Senator Hackett said there are different types of Irish grown Christmas trees to choose from.
"The Nordmann Fir (Abies Nordmanniana) is the most popular. 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 a popular choice non-shed needle choice. The traditional Christmas Tree is the Norway Spruce (Picea Abies). It has a lovely scent and make sure to place it in a water stand to avoid needle loss.
“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. 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,” she said
A statement added that 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 said the quality improvement has also been facilitated by the Department’s Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector.
“I encourage Christmas tree growers to consider applying for the 2021 Scheme,” concluded Minister Hackett.
The closing date for receipt of applications under the Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector is 18 December 2020. The Scheme is open to all horticulture sectors.
Popular investments under the Scheme include specialised tree pruners, tree netters and palletisers which protect quality and allow efficient transport.
Details of the scheme and application forms are available at www.gov.ie/en/service/b8eb3- 2021-scheme-of-investment-aid- for-the-development-of-the- commercial-horticulture- sector/